For those who have been following the tech news, you guys should be aware by now that Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect has found uses outside of the gaming world. Originally designed for gaming in mind, it seems that the Kinect has found its way into various industries, such as the medical, banking, and now scientific industries. According to a CNN report, a scientist at Princeton by the name of Iain Couzin has been using the Kinect to study the behaviors of locusts’ while in groups and alone. Apparently some of his discoveries using the Kinect were unintended, such as accidentally discovering that locusts in the western Sahara desert form massive swarms in an attempt to fight off other locusts from eating them.
“We just discovered by accident that the locusts were trying to eat each other […] So when it looks like a cooperative swarm, in actual fact it’s a selfish, sort of cannibalistic horde. Everyone is trying to eat everyone else and trying to avoid being eaten.”
Couzin and his team plan to use the Kinect to further study the behavior of locusts and other organisms and hopes to one day forecast the emergence of locust swarms, which have been known to cause food shortages and even deaths as they consume all crops they come across.
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