Metal Ant Art / Swarm Intelligence

Metal Ant Art - Swarm Intelligence

These metal ants cover the facade of the old Zipperhead store on South Street. The punk, gothic, rock, clothing store has since moved up the block and has been renamed Crash Bang Boom.

A single ant is not all that smart. But, a colony of ants collectively exhibit what is called Swarm Intelligence. In the recent years, there has been growing research interest in Swarm Intelligence to solve some problems related to complex systems such as telecommunication networks, truck routing algorithms and immune system simulations. As a colony, ants can solve very complex problems; They can find the shortest path to food sources, allocate tasks to different workers, defend their territory in efficient ways. No single ant is in charge, yet each ant follows some simple rules to solve these problems efficiently. The rules by which a million ants self-organize without any central management has both baffled and interested biologists and researchers. We have a lot to learn from ants!

Swarm Intelligence is one more example of biomimicry. If only we could understand how ants deal with the psychopaths in their colonies...

Song of the Day: What a Wonderful World - David Attenborough (BBC) (2011)
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