bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Bee movements inspire computer programming

Movements of bees and other social insects are providing inspiration for researchers investigating the design of robots and computer programs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Bees are highly successful creatures with “large-scale robust behaviour patterns forged from the interaction of many simple individuals”. By analyzing their behaviour, the researchers hope to be able to simulate it. These simulated models may yield better computing programming algorithms.

A new computer vision system that automates the analysis of animal movement is central to their work. Already it is 80% as accurate as human experts in identifying key bee movements. The bee dance whereby bees tell fellow bees the location of nectar sources is an early focus of their stiudies.


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