The complex social behavior demonstrated by social insects has long fascinated entomologists. Now, in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of how insects function in a group, researchers are dispatching robots that will observe the social behavior of insects.
Researchers have used robots before when studying insect behavior. For example, in the past, researchers built robotic bees that were able to study the ritualistic dances that bees often demonstrate during pollination. Now researchers are focusing more on how robotic insects can infiltrate insect colonies in order to influence insect behavior on a colony-wide scale.
Currently, engineers believe that it is possible to create robotic bees that could function to protect real bees from mites. Or robotic bees could even be built in order to keep real bees updated on weather forecasts. It seems that the study of robotics and insect behavior will now go hand in hand.
Do you think that it is possible for insects, such as roaches, to perceive the difference between a real and robotic insect?