Title

Multi-Level Instrumentation of Bivouac Thermoregulation: Current Methods and Future Directions

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2022

Department

Biological Sciences

School

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Abstract

Army ants are frequently used as charismatic organismal representatives of collective behavior in nature, providing templates for modern engineered systems as well as continuing to drive aspirational goals for the engineered systems of the future. Most attention on army ants has been focused on the ability of groups of ants to self-assemble into adaptive structures such as bridges or even whole-colony bivouacs (living nests) that provide shelter and protection. Less attention has been paid to the demonstrated abilities of these large-scale army-ant structures to thermoregulate, which is a particularly notable adaptation given that each individual ant has limited ability to regulate her own body temperature. Understanding the emergence of group-level thermoregulation from inexpensive components provides significant opportunities for engineered systems, but also requires surmounting significant instrumentation challenges. Here, we review what is known about army-ant thermoregulation, what is currently possible in terms of multi-scale instrumentation, and what important gaps need to be filled to advance the field further.

Publication Title

Artificial Life and Robotics

Volume

27

First Page

308

Last Page

315

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