Running ants: Why scientists built an insect treadmill

Scientists from the University of Freiburg have designed a treadmill specifically for ants – with the aim of revealing their navigation secrets.

Desert ants are able to locate and travel to their nest very quickly; with their brains keeping track of the number of steps they have taken and their orientation.

The researchers, who published their design in the Journal of Experimental Biology, plan to use their unique set-up to record directly from ants’ brains as they navigate – research that could help in the development of miniature robots.

Video produced by Victoria Gill

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