The evolution of robotics continues to amaze the most savvy technology enthusiasts. Recent developments include robotic ants and butterflies as well as two major companies working together on robotic surgery advances.

Years ago people watched television shows about a bionic man and a bionic woman. Few believed they would actually see bionic creatures come to life. Now the group of robotic animals by robotics company Festo is expanding. The German robotics company just introduced a swarm of ants and a butterfly robot.

These animal robots are part of the company’s Bionic Learning Network. The ant robots are called BionicANTS. According to CNET, the ants can operate together. The robotics ants were inspired by the insect’s swam intelligence and physical body. The ants communicate and coordinate their movements and actions, much like natural ants.

The eMotionButterflies also have collective behavior. The ants have a light construction that enables them to fly together. Despite their complex construction and incredible abilities, these robotic insects are lightweight. While they are not meant for consumer production, they will help researchers and developers fuel robot development in the future.

With cutting edge robotics in mind, Google is pooling intellectual property and resources with Ethicon, a part of Johnson & Johnson, to develop robotics to assist surgeons. According to the Wall Street Journal blog, no financial terms have been disclosed at this time. The deal is anticipated to close in the second quarter. The focus will be minimally-invasive surgery.

Surgeons are currently using robotics to perform certain procedures. Many people have heard of the da Vinci robotics surgical system for minimally-invasive procedure, including gynecological and prostate surgeries. Laboratory automation is used in research laboratories for routine jobs such as microplate handing.

Exciting robotic advances and collaborations promise to make the future more efficient and productive. Someday they could even handle the routine daily tasks people dread. After all, the iRobot Roomba is already keeping carpets clean without all the manual labor.