With the alarming decline in the honey bee population sweeping our globe, fear of the multi-billion dollar crop industry collapsing has been on many people’s minds. To tackle this issue, Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has been working with staff from the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Northeastern University’s Department of Biology to develop robot bees. And according to a new video just released, these insectoid automatons have already taken flight.
The collaborators envision that the Nature-inspired research could lead to a greater understanding of how to artificially mimic the 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.
More broadly, the scientists anticipate the devices will open up a wide range of discoveries and practical innovations, advancing fields ranging from entomology and developmental biology to amorphous computing and electrical engineering.