Robot lead roaches into the dark

BRUSSELS, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Belgian researchers say tests using robotic roaches show that complex patterns can arise from simple behavior.

A research team at Free University of Brussels said the robotic roaches were able to persuade real cockroaches to do things that their instincts told them were a bad idea, The New York Times reported Friday.

The findings are published in the journal Science.

Biologist Jose Halloy said researchers doused four robotic roaches with cockroach sex hormones and put them with real cockroaches. The real roaches, which are attracted to light, followed the robots into the dark 60 percent of the time, the study said.

The next study will use a robotic chicken to see if newly hatched chicks, which bond to the first thing they see, will do so with the robot as if it were their mother, the newspaper said.