Their concern is that further advances could create profound social disruptions and even have dangerous consequences.
But the robot suddenly came to life and grabbed a tight hold of the victim's head. The man succeeded in defending himself but not before suffering serious injuries.
The colony may be the largest of its type ever known for any insect species, and could rival humans in the scale of its world domination.
What's more, people are unwittingly helping the mega-colony stick together.
Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) were once native to South America. But people have unintentionally introduced the ants to all continents except Antarctica.
In Europe, one vast colony of Argentine ants is thought to stretch for 6,000km (3,700 miles) along the Mediterranean coast, while another in the US, known as the "Californian large", extends over 900km (560 miles) along the coast of California. A third huge colony exists on the west coast of Japan.