Humans tend to think of themselves as smart, but it turns out a slime mold—with nothing even similar to a brain—can do just as good a job as some of the brightest engineers. At least that’s what researchers are hinting at, since they’ve shown that a slime mold mapped out the basic shape of the Tokyo metro system in less than two days.
Researchers placed small amounts of oat flakes over a map of Japan, corresponding to city centers. The slime mold soon found the best way to connect to each of them so it could eat the oat flakes. Previously, researchers have used the mold to find the shortest way to get through a maze.
Brainless Slime Mold Naturally Recreates Tokyo Rail System Design
1. Biomimicry Public Transit Design - Public transit systems can look to biomimicry, specifically slime mold navigation, as a way to create more efficient and effective designs without human intervention.
2. Artificial Intelligence Redefining Design Processes - AI can be used to enhance the design process of public transit systems by replicating the navigation and problem-solving abilities of slime mold and other natural organisms.
3. Natural Processes for Urban Infrastructure - Natural processes, such as the navigation techniques of slime mold, can inform and improve the design of urban infrastructure projects, particularly in the field of transportation.
1. Transportation - The transportation industry could apply the findings of this study to improve existing public transit systems.
2. Art and Design - Artists and designers in the public transit industry may find inspiration in the shapes and patterns created by slime mold navigation.
3. Scientific Research - Further scientific research into the navigation techniques of slime mold and other natural organisms may lead to breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and machine learning.