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Agri & Gardening robot bees are all the buzz  bees in decline | Upload General

Robot Bees Are All The Buzz: Bees In Decline

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by: Ariana M
robot bees are all the buzz  bees in decline | Upload

It is no secret that human activity has had a profound impact on our planet. We’ve destroyed large parts of Malaysian forests, polluted our oceans, and turned one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World into a dump. Still, it all pales in comparison with our impact on some of the most important beings on Earth – bees.

Robot Bees Are All The Buzz: Bees And Neonicotinoids Don't Go Together.

Bees are vital for food production, as according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United States, bees pollinate 71% of the 100 crop species that provide us with 90% of our food. Bees are the most efficient pollinators amongst insects, and bees allow us to enjoy a great variety of fruits, vegetables, berries, and many other plants that would all disappear if the bees were to go extinct. The effect of this would be far too significant to imagine, and our planet would look very different from what it does now.

real bees on artficial hive
Photo by: Alarab. Bees on an 'artificial beehive' with smart cells to understand and motivate bee behavior to meet challenges

Recommended: Farmers Using Flowers Instead Of Chemicals To Tackle Pests

Since 2006 US has lost 40% of its commercial honeybees, while in the UK, the situation is even more drastic – their population of honeybees has decreased by 45% since 2010; beekeepers around Europe have been reporting unusual weakening and mortality in their bee colonies since 1998. So why are we blaming human activity for this? The answer is entirely predictable – pesticides.

Recommended: Collapse: The World According To WhatsOrb

Many studies suggested that the use of neonicotinoids (neuro-active insecticides meant to keep away pests) poses a threat to honeybee colonies. Based on an analysis of more than 1500 studies, the European Union has decided to ban three main neonicotinoids earlier this year.

Bees In Decline: It’s Time To Talk About Robots

While protective measures are being taken, some scientists are preparing for the worst-case scenario and are developing new ways to pollinate plants that don’t require the hands-on approach that some Chinese farms currently employ.

A team from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has created a drone called DelFly Nimble that replicates the wing motions of fruit flies and will be able to help the bees do their job (or, worst come to worst, replace them).

Recommended: Agriculture, Farming. Artificial Intelligence And Robots: UK

hand, robot bee
Photo by: DelFly Project

The wing motion is a large part of what makes these drones unique. The robot bees can hover on the spot, flip 360 degrees and fly in any direction – all courtesy of fruit fly’s evasive techniques.  This wing motion is also much more efficient than the more traditional helicopter-style blades, which allows the robot bees to stay airborne for longer. And with the addition of spatial sensors, they will be able to avoid obstacles and each other, much like their real-life inspirations.

 


                                                                    RoboBee powered by soft muscles.


Currently, the drones are quite big – DelFly Nimbles has a 33cm wingspan – and are only able to fly for about 6 minutes, which allows them to cover the distance of 1 km (or 0.6 miles) on a single charge. However, Matej Karásek, a researcher working on the project, says that the goal is to get the drone to be as small as the real honeybees.

DelFly Project isn’t the first to attempt to create a robot bee. Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute are developing RoboBees, which could not only pollinate crops but also assist in environmental monitoring and search-and-rescue operations. RoboBees are much smaller than their Dutch counterparts, being roughly half the size of a paper clip. Still, they don’t have batteries, instead of relying on an external power source. They are currently unable to fit even the smallest microchip, which means that the robots aren’t able to make decisions on their own. The ultimate goal of the project is to find a way to make RoboBees wireless and allow them to respond to the environment and act as a single unit.

Recommended: Solar- And Wind Projects Built Entirely By Autonomous Robots

finger, drone
Photo by: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Another interesting approach to creating robot bees comes from Japan. A team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology engineered their version of a device using a $100 drone, horsehair, and sticky ion gel. The idea is straightforward – the drone flies into a flower, the pollen from this flower gets stuck to the ion gel and horsehair, and then the drone shakes it off at the next flower. This is certainly a project in an early stage of development, but hopefully, one that will become a success.

Yellow, robots, spacestation
Photo by NASA: Robot bees even in space. Astrobees are autonomous robots that can move in zero-gravity, unfurl a robot arm, and record astronauts' every move in streaming HD video.

As you can see, there isn’t a perfect robot bee out there just yet, but these projects are showing a lot of promise, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see tiny artificial bees soon.

Do you think robot bees are the way to save us all from sure extinction, or should we focus on protecting the real bees instead? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

 

 

Add value to the world; upload your idea.                                

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Recommended: Drones, Robots, And Agriculture: The Future Of Farming Global

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Robot Bees Are All The Buzz: Bees In Decline

It is no secret that human activity has had a profound impact on our planet. We’ve destroyed large parts of Malaysian forests, polluted our oceans, and turned one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World into a dump. Still, it all pales in comparison with our impact on some of the most important beings on Earth – bees. Robot Bees Are All The Buzz: Bees And Neonicotinoids Don't Go Together. Bees are vital for food production, as according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United States, bees pollinate 71% of the 100 crop species that provide us with 90% of our food. Bees are the most efficient pollinators amongst insects, and bees allow us to enjoy a great variety of fruits, vegetables, berries, and many other plants that would all disappear if the bees were to go extinct. The effect of this would be far too significant to imagine, and our planet would look very different from what it does now. Photo by: Alarab. Bees on an 'artificial beehive' with smart cells to understand and motivate bee behavior to meet challenges Recommended:  Farmers Using Flowers Instead Of Chemicals To Tackle Pests Since 2006 US has lost 40% of its commercial honeybees, while in the UK, the situation is even more drastic – their population of honeybees has decreased by 45% since 2010; beekeepers around Europe have been reporting unusual weakening and mortality in their bee colonies since 1998. So why are we blaming human activity for this? The answer is entirely predictable – pesticides. Recommended:  Collapse: The World According To WhatsOrb Many studies suggested that the use of neonicotinoids (neuro-active insecticides meant to keep away pests) poses a threat to honeybee colonies. Based on an analysis of more than 1500 studies, the European Union has decided to ban three main neonicotinoids earlier this year. Bees In Decline: It’s Time To Talk About Robots While protective measures are being taken, some scientists are preparing for the worst-case scenario and are developing new ways to pollinate plants that don’t require the hands-on approach that some Chinese farms currently employ. A team from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has created a drone called DelFly Nimble that replicates the wing motions of fruit flies and will be able to help the bees do their job (or, worst come to worst, replace them). Recommended:  Agriculture, Farming. Artificial Intelligence And Robots: UK Photo by: DelFly Project The wing motion is a large part of what makes these drones unique. The robot bees can hover on the spot, flip 360 degrees and fly in any direction – all courtesy of fruit fly’s evasive techniques.  This wing motion is also much more efficient than the more traditional helicopter-style blades, which allows the robot bees to stay airborne for longer. And with the addition of spatial sensors, they will be able to avoid obstacles and each other, much like their real-life inspirations.   {youtube}                                                                     RoboBee powered by soft muscles. Currently, the drones are quite big – DelFly Nimbles has a 33cm wingspan – and are only able to fly for about 6 minutes, which allows them to cover the distance of 1 km (or 0.6 miles) on a single charge. However, Matej Karásek, a researcher working on the project, says that the goal is to get the drone to be as small as the real honeybees. DelFly Project isn’t the first to attempt to create a robot bee. Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute are developing RoboBees, which could not only pollinate crops but also assist in environmental monitoring and search-and-rescue operations. RoboBees are much smaller than their Dutch counterparts, being roughly half the size of a paper clip. Still, they don’t have batteries, instead of relying on an external power source. They are currently unable to fit even the smallest microchip, which means that the robots aren’t able to make decisions on their own. The ultimate goal of the project is to find a way to make RoboBees wireless and allow them to respond to the environment and act as a single unit. Recommended:  Solar- And Wind Projects Built Entirely By Autonomous Robots Photo by: Wyss Institute at Harvard University Another interesting approach to creating robot bees comes from Japan. A team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology engineered their version of a device using a $100 drone, horsehair, and sticky ion gel. The idea is straightforward – the drone flies into a flower, the pollen from this flower gets stuck to the ion gel and horsehair, and then the drone shakes it off at the next flower. This is certainly a project in an early stage of development, but hopefully, one that will become a success. Photo by NASA:  Robot bees even in space.  Astrobees are autonomous robots that can move in zero-gravity, unfurl a robot arm, and record astronauts' every move in streaming HD video. As you can see, there isn’t a perfect robot bee out there just yet, but these projects are showing a lot of promise, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see tiny artificial bees soon. Do you think robot bees are the way to save us all from sure extinction, or should we focus on protecting the real bees instead? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!     Add value to the world; upload your idea.                                  Before you go! Recommended:  Drones, Robots, And Agriculture: The Future Of Farming Global Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about robots? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage.'
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