University at Buffalo researchers have turned to termites and beavers for inspiration as they work to help autonomous robots problem solve. The researchers developed new algorithms around the concept of stigmergy: a mechanism of spontaneous, indirect coordination where the aftereffects of one action guide a subsequent action. This biological phenomenon can be seen in collective building of things, from termite nests and beaver dams to Wikipedia pages. The result, is a robot that can take cues from it's surroundings and modify the current environment to tackle a problem. See it in action below and read more about the problem solving autonomous robot at University at Buffalo.