In some ways, ants are just like we humans. They seem to scurry around without accomplishing much, can’t seem to resist sweet treats – and spend far too much time on personal grooming. Well, to be more precise, on grooming the hairs on their antennae to keep them clean. And that activity is not all about looking good: there’s a serious nano-tech side to it, as the video above explains.

Ants’ antennae enable them to communicate, smell food and follow pheromones. To ensure that their antennae remain clean, ants have a notch and spur covered in different types of hairs on their front legs for grooming.

In the video, Alexander Hackmann, from Cambridge University’s Department of Zoology, explains how Camponotus rufifemur ants keep themselves clean – and the potential this holds for nano-technological application.

Source/Video credit: Cambridge University