A team at Wake Forest University have designed and are testing an antivirus program that takes inspiration from the principle that ant colonies run on. They are of the opinion that this could offer a foolproof system against viruses. The idea is that when an ant comes upon an intruder or a potential predator, the rest of the ants in the colony team up with it and they deal with the unwelcome visitor. This “swarming philosophy” is what is being tested.
The team at Wake Forest with Errin Fulp (standing) supervising
Errin Fulp, a professor of computer science at Wake Forest University who is working on the project, said that he's training an army of “digital ants” to turn loose into the power grid to take on viruses that enter the system. If this approach works out and is successful, its application could be wide spread with protection connected to SCADA networks (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and computer systems that control everything from sewage to water management systems to mass transit systems and manufacturing systems. The technology has already received ackowledgement for having potential.