Researcher Makes Ants Dance By Controlling Their Pheromones

Researcher Makes Ants Dance By Controlling Their Pheromones
Design

Ollie Palmer wanted to reproduce the pheromones the insects use to communicate to direct them and choreograph their movements.

Emma Hutchings
  • 19 october 2012

Designer Ollie Palmer from the Bartlett School of Architecture in London is creating an ant ballet by reproducing the pheromones they use to communicate. This research project into paranoia, control systems, insects, and architecture, is split into four phases. Palmer has conducted thorough research into Linepthinema humile Argentine ants and has used a robotic arm to lay powder trails of synthesised pheromones (Z9:16 Ald Hexadecenal), which caused the ants to move in a different way to their natural foraging behaviour. Palmer told Wired:

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