In today’s Washington Post there was an article “Termites inspire construction robots?”, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/termites-inspire-construction-robots/2014/02/13/e6ef44ce-941f-11e3-83b9-1f024193bb84_story.html.
The article discusses an approach to making a building following the process termites use to build their large nests. Termites, and the robots discussed in the article use a technique called stigmergy. Communications are indirect creating loosely coupled but aligned collections capable of very complex results.
I have written about this in the past.
Using biological constructs to look at systems architecture design is an increasingly useful approach, http://www.ourownlittlecorner.com/2012/08/19/using-biological-constructs-as-metaphors-for-developing-system-architecture/.
Stigmergic approaches can also be used to improve cybersecurity defenses, http://www.ourownlittlecorner.com/2011/05/30/my-gwu-discussion-%E2%80%93-part-3-%E2%80%93-what-to-do-about-cybersecurity/.
The article in the Post is a quick read and worth looking at. If nothing else, you will become a member of the small but growing group that can throw in references to stigmergy at cocktail parties.