From Ants to Robots and Back: How Robotics Can Contribute to the Study of Collective Animal Behavior

  • Simon Garnier
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 355)


Swarm robotics has developed partly from biological discoveries that have been made on the organization of animal societies during the last thirty years. In this article, I review some of the ways robotics contributes in return to the study of collective animal behavior. I argue that robotics can bring significant improvements in this field, from a technical, conceptual and educational point of view. I base my discussion on five observations I have made while collaborating with computer scientists: robots require a complete specification; robots are physical entities; robots implement new technologies; robots can be inadvertent sources of biological inspiration; and robots are ”cool” gadgets.


Social Insect Swarm Intelligence Behavioral Ecology Animal Society Swarm Robotic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Garnier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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