Robotic Bees

Harvard Researchers Developing Robotic Bees.

Computerworld (10/8, Cooney) reports, “Harvard University researchers recently got a $10 million grant to create a colony of flying robotic bees, or RoboBees to among other things, spur innovation in ultra-low-power computing and electronic ‘smart’ sensors; and refine coordination algorithms to manage multiple, independent machines.”  The research “could lead to a better understanding of how to artificially mimic the unique collective behavior and intelligence of a bee colony; foster novel methods for designing and building an electronic surrogate nervous system able to deftly sense and adapt to changing environments; and advance work on the construction of small-scale flying mechanical devices,” according to the school.  “The bees will be made up of a variety of technologies including UV and optical sensors as well as pollination and docking capabilities, the researchers stated.  In addition, achieving autonomous flight will require compact high-energy power sources and associated electronics, integrated seamlessly into the ‘body’ of the machine, researchers stated.”

Reposted from the October 8, 2009 ASEE First Bell briefing.

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