Humans have noted coordinated swarming in its natural state for most of history—members of flocks of birds or schools of fish change direction individually, simultaneously without any obvious control mechanism. Scientists have sought to better understand such behavior to learn more about how such systems work in smaller environment such as those made of bacteria. Also, understanding how it works might help engineers build robotic systems able to accomplish the same feats. Holding things up, however, has been an inability to create a replicable model of the behavior in a controlled environment. Now, it appears, the team in France has done just that.
Via Claudia Mihai