What you're witnessing is the interaction of a group of small entities known as Boids. Boids themselves aren't very smart or capable, but in groups they can exhibit some interesting qualities. These interesting qualities, or behaviors are known as an emergent behavior. (Another way to describe how they act is saying they exhibit flocking behavior.) Here are some interesting points about these boid things...
- How do they avoid hitting each other?
- How do they stay together as one group?
- How do they avoid obstacles?
Here are some fun links to explore until next time. :)
A flash site on other examples of emergence:
A wiki article on the Game of Life:
... and an implementation:
... and oh yeah, I said I was going to show some ways swarm intelligence relates directly to us as humans. Next time!