Startling innovations are taking place in the field of robotics. But one of the big questions is: how can the gap between human creations and nature be bridged?

Obviously, the way to answer such questions is to build a tiny treadmill for ants.

Why? To learn about their navigational capabilities. This is knowledge that will help develop miniature robots. In the video above, the research focuses on desert ants, who are able to locate their nests very quickly as their brains monitor the number of steps they have taken and their orientation.

But this is not the only study limited to ants. At Georgia Tech University, researchers are studying fire ants because they are “a great example of simple animals working together to survive in the harsh environments”. For example, the insects can form a raft to stay afloat.

Who’d have thought of ants as holding answers to improvements in robotics?