FESTO has created the bionicANTs or robotic ants. While not new, we somehow did not write about them when they came out.
The ants works like real ants and can communicate and cooperate with one another.
Using piezo technology, the ants have about a 40 minute run time with 2 7.2v rechargeable batteries.
The ants can also use their antenna to recharge their batteries from a live rail.
Making robots that can cooperate with one another is certainly beneficial. Maybe if the ants were larger or there where more of them they could be used in mining, construction or search and rescue.