Harvard scientists build tiny robots to pollinate plants

by Dina Spector, Business Insider

Honeybees, which pollinate nearly  one-third of the food we eat , have been dying at unprecedented rates because of a mysterious phenomenon known as  colony collapse disorder (CCD). The situation is so dire that in late June the White House gave a  new task force  just 180 days to devise a coping strategy to protect bees and other pollinators. The crisis is generally attributed to a mixture of disease, parasites, and pesticides.

Other scientists are pursuing a different tack: replacing bees. While there’s no perfect solution, modern technology offers hope.

Last year, Harvard University researchers led by engineering professor Robert Wood introduced the first RoboBees, bee-size robots with the ability to lift off the ground and hover midair when tethered to a power supply. The details were published in the journal Science. A coauthor of that report, Harvard graduate student and mechanical engineer Kevin Ma, tells Business Insider that the team is “on the eve of the next big development.” Says Ma: “The robot can now carry more weight.”

The project represents a breakthrough in the field of micro-aerial vehicles. It had previously been impossible to pack all the things needed to make a robot fly onto such a small structure and keep it lightweight.

Read the rest of the story at Business Insider.

One Response

  1. Wish I could be excited by such news. Instead my heart sinks.
    Saving the Bees it is possible. It is still possible.We must change our ways we interact with Nature and refuse to poison our fields , gardens and our lives.
    We also MUST look at everything around as Sacred .
    The Bees have been teaching me for the past five years to open my heart and mind. They are far wiser and more intelligent then we think.

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