Final Proposal – Ants Interaction

In this project, I will work with Leslie Ruckman and living ants in order to create a human-ant interaction. This project is inspired by a deep interest in the way we perceive non-human animals and their resemblance to us. The main notions that we will engage on are collective behavior, individuals in groups and role changing.

An individual’s behavior and collective behavior:

Ants collective behavior as analogous to other biological systems and networks. Ants are acting very differently when they are alone or as part of a group. The ants will control on an element that lives online, such as a game.

Human collective behavior in crowds.

Role changing:

  • Even though the ants will be in an enclosure they will have an effect on the audience. One option is that they will have power in the virtual world and the other one is to have an effect of the participant’s outer environment (i.e. in the physical world).
  • Play with scale: will be achieved by presenting a large-scale projection of ants or small scale models of object we are familiar with their real size in our daily lives.

Tracking ants using color detection will enable us to collect data on the ants behavior and will be the first step towards the goals which are mentioned above.

We would track the ants using a camera, that will be placed at a top view, as described in the sketch.

sketch by Leslie Ruckman

Moreover, we will visualize this data, in real time, using a projector that will project their trail. The following video inspired this idea.


In the following a color tracking test can be seen.

As for now, our main concern is to figure out what kind of interactions we would like to evoke.

The following project will be integrated with Physical Computing.

Questions for the class:

What kinds of interaction would you like to have with ants and what not?

What kind of power/effect would you like ants to have on you?

Technical questions:

How to track more than one ant and to save data for each individual?

Categories: Computational Media

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *