Laser Printing

By exploiting the mechanism of supercavitation we are able to realize laser-induced multi-scale structure on the surface of graphene oxide (GO) based polymeric matrices. The objective of this activity is twofold. From a fundamental point of view, we want to investigate the role of a multi-scale topological structure on the mechanism ruling the growth of microorganisms ranging from bacteria and fungi to human stem cells.… Read the rest

Anderson localization

We have numerically studied the Anderson localization (AL) in 3D disordered systems, where its experimental demonstration is particularly tricky because of the restrictive Ioffe-Regel criterion. We employ an ab initio approach by using a finite difference time domain (FDTD) code in order to simulate a time-of-flight experiment to demonstrate the optical AL in micron-sized samples.

We also used the FDTD code to investigate the effect of disorder on the optomechanical forces.… Read the rest

COBBS – Flocking Experiment

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COBBS – Computer Vision and Tracking

The raw data gathered from the experimental work consists of three sequences of images, one from each camera, for each flocking/swarming event. Each sequence may consist of up to 2700 images, meaning a single event could have a total of 7100 images!! It would be impossible to process each event by hand in a timely manner. The solution is to apply various computer vision methods and algorithms to extract the required information, namely the position of each individual, from the images automatically.… Read the rest

COBBS – Non-biting Midge Experiment

Our search for midge swarms has taken us to many of the public parks within Rome including Riserva Naturale Valle dell’Aniene, Villa Paganini, Villa Torlonia, Parco dell’Acquedotto, Villa Ada, Laghetto dell’EUR and Ponte Tazio. Basically any place with an aquatic or semiaquatic habitat (the larval stage requires water for development) is where midges can be found. Our experimental setup is similar to that of the flocking experiment except that our baseline distance shrinks from 25 m down to approximately 5 – 8 m (depending on our distance to the swarm).… Read the rest

COBBS – Collective Behaviour in Biological Systems

From bird flocks to fish schools, from insect swarms to cell colonies, collective behaviour is a very widespread phenomenon in many biological systems. It is hard to define, but easy to recognize. What are the mechanisms regulating collective behaviour in biological systems?

In many cases collective behaviour is the result of local rules of interactions among the individuals, without any need of a centralized control.… Read the rest

COBBS – Laboratory

The COBBS Laboratory is housed on the 4th floor of the Fermi Building, Sapienza University. This is our main lab space and houses the experimental team. The numerical analysis and computer vision teams are located two doors down the hallway from our lab.… Read the rest

COBBS – Publications

COBBS papers in collective behaviour:

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COBBS – Photographs

Here is a selection of some of the INFM-CNR photographs from the STARFLAG project.

They are at low resolution. You can have the high resolution versions by contacting Andrea Cavagna:

Please note that the credit for each one of the following images is:

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COBBS – Press and Media Coverage

The seventh starling (Murmuration) – The Guardian

Choreografie ohne Choreografen – NZZ


Birds of a feather … track seven neighbors to flock together – News at Princeton

How do starlings create those mesmerizing murmurations – Cornell Lab Ornithology

Editorial: Tech is a flock of starlings – Engadget

Flights of Fancy: How birds (and bird-watchers) compute the behavior of a flock on the wing – American Scientist

Animal magnetism: modeling flocks of birds using simple attractions – ArsTechnica

Starling Flocks Behave Like Flying Magnets – Wired

The Startling Science of a Starling Murmuration – Wired

Birds flock with scale invariance – Physics World

How starling flocks create their aerobatic displays – BBC

The Smart Swarm – Peter Miller

Amazing Starling Flocks are Flying Avalanches – Wired

Birds network too – Science News

Study of starling formations points way for swarming robots – Daily Telegraph

Statistical Physics is for the Birds – Physics Today

A selection of low resolution photos from the project.… Read the rest