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Robot ants mimic insect behaviour

29 March 2013 Last updated at 00:03 GMT

Scientists in the US have built and tested robotic ants, which they say behave just like a real ant colony.

The robots do not resemble their insect counterparts; they are tiny cubes equipped with two watch motors to power the wheels that enable them to move. But their collective behaviour is remarkably ant-like.

In this clip, lead researcher Dr Simon Garnier from the New Jersey Institute of Technology explains how the robots were designed to mimic the way in which an ant colony navigates.

Just like ants, he explains, the robots "work together" to find their way from A to B - each one leaving a light trail that others follow.

Footage courtesy of Simon Garnier