Robot bees may replace actual bees which are on the verge of extinction at a global level. These small drones may be used as pollinators in the near future. Scientists decided that they should think of a solution for when such a disaster would happen. They came up with an eccentric idea, inspired by the show known as Black Mirror.
- Scientists want to help natural pollinators by developing robot bees to help them.
- The idea might have been inspired by the show known as Black Mirror.
- Specialists have already tested some tiny drones and the results were fantastic.
The whole world relies on the help of bees and other insect species responsible for pollinating plants. Based on a report revealed by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, there were registered many areas in which a large number of bees had died. Thus, scientists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan have developed drones which can pollinate plants.
Apparently, the goal of the team is not to replace the natural pollinators, but to help them accomplish their tasks even if their number had dangerously decreased. Eijiro Miyako, a chemist from AIST, stated that he was motivated by the pollination crisis to help to develop these little machines. He argued that his first thought was that they need to act as quickly as possible and develop something which could help the remaining number of natural pollinators.
His project started when he found in his lab a bottle of ionic liquid gel. This substance is made of a collection of complex molecules which are linked together in long chains, having the perfect level of stickiness to collect grains of pollen. The team of scientists has undergone several tests on this chemical solution. They used it to cover up flies and ants and then they placed them near flowers to observe whether the pollen got stuck to the bodies of these insects.
Every bug in the experiment ended up being covered in pollen. After this test had proved to bring successful outcome, they decided to use a 2-inch cam known as G-Force OXY. This is a remote-controlled drone. They covered the drone in animal hair and ionic liquid gel. Thus, the robot bee proved to be efficient, gathering and w pollen grains.
Miyako claimed that he together his team published their new study on February 9h in Chem magazine. Nevertheless, he stated that these small machines are not ready to be used, being difficult to control them.
Image courtesy of: flickr