[ExI] Ant mega-colony takes over world

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Thu Jul 2 14:01:42 UTC 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQERRbU23bU  The middle part shows excavation
of the inside of the colony. 

Nlogo1.tif Natasha Vita-More

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of spike
Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 12:34 AM
To: 'ExI chat list'
Subject: Re: [ExI] Ant mega-colony takes over world


> ...On Behalf Of Emlyn
> > Shell weed ants?  (No thanks, I think I will sit this one out.)
> Do you think you could build a 2 dimensional surface, some kind of 
> sheet, divided in pixels which could each emit various ant pheromones?
> I guess those would be phixels...

Oh my, excellent thinking.  No need to stop at 2 dimensions.  If we could
make some sort of three dimensional open-cell foam matrix, where the ants
could create pockets of... anty matter, no that's not the term I want.
Pockets of ants with raw materials to be carried to any arbitrary
construction site, where it could be carried to where it is needed.  Perhaps
you have seen those dough-like two part epoxy materials, such as plumber's
epoxy.  I can imagine two ants each carrying a small spherule of epoxy which
they combine at the site.  That stuff forms a most hardy solid when it sets.

> >From a computer's point of view, that surface would be like a big
> display, a Smellovision.
> Then, you could control ant behaviour by control the pheromone release 
> at each phixel.
> Maybe that would help in your plans?
> --
> Emlyn

Emlyn your ideas cause my brain to go into overdrive.  Imagine a big two
dimensional array, ants would be ordered via pheromones to do some very
simple task, such as block the cell with an epoxy material or not block the
cell.  A pattern is formed.  Then a second layer is stacked on top of the
first, and a new pattern is formed in that layer, continuing thus adding
layers until a three dimensional structure is formed that physically cannot
be manufactured by standard techniques.  One example of such would be a
solid mass interspersed with a series of interlocking tunnels, for the
purpose of heat exchange between counterflowing liquids, for instance.


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