Table of Contents

May 2018

We investigate the dynamics of cooperative transport, where the motion of the ants is frustrated by an obstacle that contains a narrow opening that serves as the only available passage to the nest, and through which single ants can pass but not the cargo. A theoretical model for this frustrated motion predicts a bi-stable dynamic behavior that stochastically switches between large amplitude oscillations along the obstacle and extended lingering near the opening. These predictions are experimentally confirmed: The bi-stability provides two possible problem solving strategies, whereby the ants attempt to fit small objects through the opening, but guide large objects away from the opening and around the obstacle. Ron et al.

Image Credit: Ehud Fonio


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