Home > Geeky > A chance meeting on campus

A chance meeting on campus

October 22, 2005

Photographed on campus this week, a chance conversation between two grasshoppers.  They held this meeting for over a minute, apparently unaware of the Brobdingnagian creature studying them through its gigantic digital eye…

Is there an entomologist in the house?  These two look quite different – one is dull tan, the other a translucent patterened green.  The tan one is larger, appears to be missing its left hind leg from some mishap, has squared-off wings, and a much sturdier thoracic shoulder plate (a term I just made up).  The green one has thicker antennae.

Critters like this are not only energy-efficient, they are code-efficient, performing quite complex actions out of very simple instruction sets.  Computer scientists and roboticists are studying insects as a model for autonomy that may be achieved long before we have conversational humanoid robots.  Such machines could explore space, harvest crops, clean pollution, or even build and maintain levees.

It is late in the season.  Perhaps these two are male and female, preparing to leave in the ground the fertilized eggs that will repeat this scene next year.  It is not clear which part of the process we may have happened upon, but they don’t appear to be smoking tiny little cigarettes and watching an insectoid Johnny Carson…

Categories: Geeky
  1. October 23, 2005 at 13:11 | #1

    Looks like fish bait to me

Comments are closed.