Business, Economics and Jobs

Watch these scientists use robots to hack and control animal communities

What do you get when you combine the science of animal behavior with the latest in robotics technology? You get the LEURRE project. And you get one step closer to complete human dominion over animal life.

The LEURRE project, Nautilus reports, began several years ago, when European researchers used pheromones to convince a community of cockroaches that four little robots were part of the group. Not only that, but scientists found that they could use the robots to influence how the community behaved.

"We started thinking, we have on one side the animals capable of doing those collective behaviors, and we have on the other side those robots being built by roboticists that are able to replicate that same kind of collective behavior,” said one member of LEURRE. “If we establish a link between the two, well then obviously we will have a mixed group that will act collectively.”

Since LEURRE's cockroach experiment, scientists have robotically hacked other species by replicating the various social signals (smell, sight, behavior, etc.) that animals use to interact. They've created robotic fish that look like fish and influence how the school swims.They've created mother hens that look nothing like hens, but don't tell the chicks, because they're totally imprinting on that weird robot thing.

What's next? Big money in livestock and wildlife management, probably.

Maybe robot cats to help us finally achieve human dominion over our feline companions.

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