Anchor Lead: Future search and rescue missions amid rubble in the aftermath of disasters like a tornado might benefit from a common summertime picnic spoiler – ants.
Randy Atkins: Ants are masters at tunneling and moving in confined spaces. Daniel Goldman, of Georgia Tech, is observing them with tools like high speed video and C-T scanners to understand how.
Daniel Goldman: They can use their bodies and limbs in very different ways depending on how much they’re squeezed by the size of the tunnel.
Randy Atkins: And Goldman says ants have also learned to make perfectly sized tunnels – big enough for fast passage but narrow enough to brace themselves if they slip.
Daniel Goldman: We think that by implementing these principles in human-made engineered devices, we can give robots some of the capabilities of these amazing organisms.
Randy Atkins: With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.