Okay so we came up with this headcannon where Pitou and Shal are Internet buds, like they snap eachother almost constantly and send eachother sick memes
pitou tried to get pouf into the tech shit, but he just gets angry and Youpi tries really hard but it’s hopeless
the rest of the troupe is like shal what the fuck
and they’re just like bro lmao

Mohamed Babu from India, captured these amazing pictures last year after his wife noticed that ants turned white when they drank milk. He dissolved sugar in food colouring solutions of red, green, blue and yellow and then placed them in his garden to attract ants. Some of them even moved between the different solutions, resulting in psychedelic colour combinations.

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Festo: BionicAnts and eMotionButterflies forming an intelligent smart factory hive

The main focus of the Bionic Learning Network from Festo are principles from nature that provide inspiration for technical applications and industrial practice. Last year we saw a bionic kangaroo and a flying penguin. And in 2013 a remote-controlled drone that flies and is in the form of a dragonfly.

This year they presented at the Hannover Messe 2015 their latest development: BionicANTs as large as guinea pigs and eMotionButterflies (weight: 30 g) which are intended to illustrate how individual systems can be combined into an intelligent hive system for smart factories and industry 4.0 applications.

For the BionicANTs, the Festo engineers have not only taken the delicate anatomy of the natural ant as a role model. For the first time, the cooperative behaviour of the creatures has also been transferred to the world of technology using complex control algorithms. “Like their natural role models, the BionicANTs work together under clear rules”, explains Dr.-Ing. Heinrich Frontzek, Head of Corporate Communication and Future Concepts at Festo. “They communicate with each other and coordinate both their actions and movements. Each ant makes its decisions autonomously, but in doing so is always subordinate to the common objective and thereby plays its part towards solving the task at hand.” In an abstract manner, this cooperative behaviour provides interesting approaches for the factory of tomorrow. Future production systems will be founded on intelligent components, which adapt flexibly to different production scenarios and thus take on tasks from a higher control level.

While the ants do the hard work, the bionic butterflies supervise the workflow.

The eMotionButterflies developed by Festo demonstrate complex issues from the world of future production such as functional integration, ultra-lightweight construction and communication between individual systems that is networked and optimised on a real-time basis. The aesthetically appealing bionic butterflies show the extent to which the virtual and real worlds can grow together. The coordination between the individual flying objects is effected autonomously and safely by means of a well-networked external guidance and monitoring system. The communication and sensor technology used, which constitutes an indoor GPS system, enables the butterflies to exhibit collective behaviour without danger of collision.The combination of integrated electronics and external camera technology with a host computer ensures process stability by means of an intelligent guidance and monitoring system.

Last but not least, they have recreated the tongue of a chameleon: “The FlexShapeGripper can pick up, gather and set back down several objects with the widest range of shapes in one procedure – without the need for a manual conversion”.

As always: Fascinating scifi prototyping. I’ll keep you posted with video material and english documents as soon as they are available.

[press release] [read more about the ants - PDF in german] [PDF in en] [more about the butterflies- PDF in german] [PDF in en] [picture credits: festo]

Translucent Ants Photographed Eating Colored Liquids

Mohamed Babu, a scientist from Mysore, India has captured stunning images of translucent ants, eating a unique colored liquid sugar. Depending on the color of sugar they ate, their stomachs changed color. Some of the ants, which moved between different colored foods developed a new color combination in their abdomen. Babu told the Daily Mail:

As the ant’s abdomen is semi-transparent, the ants gain the colours as they sip the liquid.

He learned that the ants preferred the lighter colored liquid sugar food. He said:

“Curiously, the ants preferred light colours, yellow and green…The darker green and blue drops had no takers, till there was no space around the preferred yellow and green drops. So I put larger drops of yellow and green, and smaller red and blue, to get maximum saturation around all the colours.”

[via]

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in lowland forests throughout costa rica, worker leaf cutter ants carry loads up to twelve times their own weight back to their subterranean nest where the leaf and flower fragments are then chewed up and fed to a fungus which in turn provides them with food.

these photos were taken by bence maté, who noted, “the garden at the laguna del lagarto lodge is full of flowers that are invaded by the ants. as they carried the colorful petals, i laid down to set up this reflected composition. i shot many thousands of pictures over several days and got just a few images that were sharp.”

Follow Your Dreams

Unless you have one of those dreams where you’re standing in a puddle and your toenails keep falling off so you try to crush the bicycle of a passing Elvis impersonator and his skin falls off revealing your 3rd grade homeroom teacher and you scream but the sound comes out of your eyes and you can’t see and that’s when you know you have to kill the curator of the Smithsonian Museum before she cooks the world’s last waffle which is actually made of liquefied ants.

Then it’s okay not to follow your dreams.

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The Brain Scoop:
Dissecting Ants

We like to think of microbial life as dirty, germy, bad nasty microscopic organisms that cause disease and illness. While it’s true that some microbes are not chiefly beneficial to us, we couldn’t live without the vast majority that ensure we are healthy and well-functioning. 

It’s pretty wild to think about all of the different species of microbes and how they specialize on different organisms. Take Dr. Corrie Moreau’s work on ants, for instance: she’s primarily interested in their unique gut microbes, and how those organisms evolved along with their ant hosts over millions of years. In this episode, she shows us how she dissects various parts out of ants in order to do further analysis in the lab. 

So, the next time you think of yourself as an individual, give a nod to the billions of microorganisms that help make you, you!