Science fiction for sure – happy Easter

Swarms of ants? Subatomic particles? Unmanned air vehicles (UAVs)? Astounding to think these things could have behaviors in common. Listen to this. Scientists have now created a UAV that can transmit a “digital pheromone,” or message—similar to the methods ants and subatomic particles use—to tell a neighboring craft what it has seen.

And we wonder how geese manage to keep that perfect “V” formation?

Whew. This is heavy stuff. A Northeast Ohio biomed company, Orbital Research, is playing a big role in the new concept. It’s writing a software—called “emergent” because, like the swarms, it grows out of the interaction of the people writing it, the people using it and the environment they’re using it in—that uses genetic algorithms and programs that mimic natural selection (which passes algorithms through hundreds of thousands of generations in a short period) to create—well, they use the word “breed” so let’s go with it—control behaviors for these UAVs. Orbital will also try to figure out how to change emergent behavior on the fly.

Using biological tools to control inanimate objects. I don’t know about you, but I think Rod Serling just snuck in the back of the room. And man, the hairs on the back of my neck are standing straight up.