Huge android ants that work together have been created by Festo, a German engineering company. These robo-ants are the size of a human hand, and are equipped with a stereo camera “eyes”, 3D printed plastic body, energy saving piezoelectric ceramic “muscles”, and wireless networking to communicate between each other.

The goal of these mimics is to build intelligent agents that can cooperate and adapt to changing conditions. Ants are social creatures, and their teamwork allows for them to do impressive things, such as moving a massive worm, making living rafts out of their own bodies, and take down tremendous crabs.

Festo has previously built a BionicKangaroo that bounces around, dextrous robot elephant trunks, and mechanical penguins that swim through water. Nature is a common target for engineers and scientists who want to find a solution nature already figured out. The Robo-ants will be presented next month, 13-17 April, at Hannover Messe, the world's largest industrial technology trade show.