Augmented reality sandpit simulating ant colonies

Lachlan Smith, Jon McCormack, Zixiang Xiong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOtherpeer-review


The way ants navigate their environment and forage for food is an intricate process. A common way ant species navigate is by using pheromone chemical trails leading to and from food sources. This paper summarizes an augmented reality sandpit project that aims to show the creation and evolution of these pheromone trails within a colony in an interactive way. A complex yet accessible simulation was built to allow users to move sand in a real sandpit while seeing virtually projected images on top of the sandpit change accordingly to showcase emergent ant colony behavior. A demo video of the project is available at

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo Workshops (ICMEW)
EditorsMohan Kankanhalli, Kai Yang
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9781538641958, 9781538641941
ISBN (Print)9781538641965
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventIEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo Workshops 2018 - San Diego, United States of America
Duration: 23 Jul 201827 Jul 2018


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo Workshops 2018
Abbreviated titleICMEW 2018
CountryUnited States of America
CitySan Diego
Internet address

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