Boids was developed back in 1986 by Craig Reynolds. Basically, it's an AI program that simulates groups of animals moving together in a group, for example a flock of birds, a school of fish, or a herd of sheep.
By defining three behaviors: seperation, alignment, and cohesion, complex interactions between all the boids in the group result in a behavior that looks natural.
I made an implementation of this program in Second Life, using floating triangles. They use sensors to "look" for boids in front of them, and apply their behavior appropriately. They have no collision avoidance, but when the boids in front bounce off an obstacle, the emergent behavior of the other boids is go to around instead.
Currently, they fly aimlessly in cirles around our space station.
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Site created by Rob Bloom.