Biomimicry
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Want to Build an Organization That Lasts? Create a Superorganism

Want to Build an Organization That Lasts? Create a Superorganism | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
"[...]It’s simple math. Like dinosaurs, organizations keep getting bigger, but they need huge bones to support the weight of all that complexity. The more weight, the more bones; the more bones, the more weight. It’s a catch-22. Management is the ponderous skeleton that keeps organizations from collapse. But as they grow, the costs of management rise, and the ability to adapt declines. When sudden change comes, there’s not much a company can do—it’s a sitting duck (or dinosaur) for the next cosmic collision. Hierarchies can only scale so much—we can’t grow bigger bones forever.[...]"

Photo details: By JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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What Ant Colony Networks Can Tell Us About What’s Next for Digital Networks

What Ant Colony Networks Can Tell Us About What’s Next for Digital Networks | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Ever notice how ant colonies so successfully explore and exploit resources in the world … to find food at 4th of July picnics, for example? You may find it annoying. But as an ecologist who studies ants and collective behavior, I think it’s intriguing — especially the fact that it’s all done without any central control. What’s especially remarkable: the close parallels between ant colonies’ networks and human-engineered ones. One example is “Anternet”, where we, a group of researchers at Stanford, found that the algorithm desert ants use to regulate foraging is like the Traffic Control Protocol (TCP) used to regulate data traffic on the internet. Both ant and human networks use positive feedback: either from acknowledgements that trigger the transmission of the next data packet, or from food-laden returning foragers that trigger the exit of another outgoing forager."

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A Bug's Life: What Managers Can Learn From Ants

A Bug's Life: What Managers Can Learn From Ants | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"...by using a tracking system to continuously monitor individually tagged ants in six colonies over 41 days, [...] scientists discovered that the insects have created a very orderly career ladder—one that focuses them on the task at hand, not on what lies ahead. Specifically, the ants perform three distinct functions and typically move from one work group to the next as they age. The youngest tend to serve as nurses to the queen, with the next oldest acting as cleaners and the elders going out, foraging for food and other resources."

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Ditch Time-Wasting Meetings By Turning Your Office Into An Ant Colony

Ditch Time-Wasting Meetings By Turning Your Office Into An Ant Colony | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Ants may free us from that scourge of modern society: the meeting (and maybe even the overbearing boss).If that sounds like a bit of an exaggeration, know that scientists are serious about recruiting ants to improve human collaboration.
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Stanford Biologist and Computer Scientist Discover the 'Anternet'

Stanford Biologist and Computer Scientist Discover the 'Anternet' | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

A collaboration between a Stanford ant biologist and a computer scientist has revealed that the behavior of harvester ants as they forage for food mirrors the protocols that control traffic on the Internet.

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Termite-like Robots Can Construct Buildings wWith no Central Leader

Termite-like Robots Can Construct Buildings wWith no Central Leader | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Insects don’t have the capacity to reason, and yet some are capable of building complex structures and executing complex foraging expeditions with no central organizing. That’s why researchers recently sent ants to the International Space Station and will observe how the change in gravity affects the ants’ ability to organize. At Harvard, scientists are taking their inspiration from termites, which can spend generations building mounds that stretch multiple feet into the air. On Thursday, a research team revealed a crew of iPad-sized robots that can build structures with no input from a central leader."

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Leaf-cutter Ants May Reveal Secrets to Creating Biofuels

Leaf-cutter Ants May Reveal Secrets to Creating Biofuels | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The ants use fungus gardens to break down leaves into food, a process that researchers say they could help them discover new enzymes and proteins useful for turning plant materials into energy.
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Robot Ants Mimic Insect Behaviour

Robot Ants Mimic Insect Behaviour | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Tiny robotic ants created by scientists in the US are able to navigate through a network by following one another's trail, footage reveals.
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Traffic Signals Inspired by Bugs

Traffic Signals Inspired by Bugs | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The way ants and termites navigate their own versions of gridlock inspires an algorithm that helps control human traffic on busy streets.
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Swarming and Transporting

Swarming and Transporting | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"At the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Dortmund, Germany, researchers are working to harness swarm intelligence as a means of improving the flow of materials and goods in the warehouse environment."

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