Tech Lessons Learned From Ants & Butterflies

From the organizational strength of the ant colony, to the unseen communication in a swarm of butterflies, nature has always beaten man to it.
But now researchers at Festo, a German industrial control and automation company, are taking their cue from the natural world to gain valuable insights that could one day transform industry.
Its three latest projects -- BionicANTs, eMotionButterflies and its tongue-like FlexShapeGripper -- all mimic nature to find solutions to the problems thrown up by the coordination and logistics necessary to carry out mechanical robotic tasks. The aim of its butterfly project, for instance, shows how communication in flight could one day work for complex networks in the workspace.