Dutch scientists have reported that they can create swarms of bee drones that will take over the pollination of plants in the case of the disappearance of insects in the world.
Intensive modern methods of farming and unintended consequences of global climate change have threatened the existence of bees, informs Rus.Media.
But at the Delft University of technology in the Netherlands a group of scientists who are working on long-term solutions to some of the most acute world problems, has developed a project that seems to be the plot of a science fiction novel: bee – robots.
Reproducing some of the complex models of the movements of the wings and aerodynamics of fruit flies in particular, researchers have recently the open University Robohouse believe that they will be able to create a cluster bjelobaba drones for crop dusting, if the actual insects will die.
The robot wings DelFly is able to do 17 strokes per second, to ascend and to stay in the air, and to control their movement through small adjustments in the movement of the wing.
Researchers were interested in why it is so hard to catch a fly, and they tried to reproduce the technique that allows insects to avoid obstacles. Bee-bots can walk in place, to fly in any direction and even rotate 360 degrees around its axis. This is due to the fact that the workers are insect wings made of lightweight film made from Mylar, the material used in the rescue blankets, that is safe for humans.
The new drones can travel at speeds up to 15 mph, have a resilient battery. They can be equipped with spatial sensors to be able to fly from plant to plant, avoiding each other and other obstacles in its path.
Previous attempts at similar projects at Harvard and other countries provided a useful model, but they were too vulnerable or unable to move around each other.
Mate of Karasek, the researcher who worked on the project, said: “the Goal of our solution is pollination in greenhouses. The bee is under threat due to modern metodai agriculture, and we don’t know what their future will be. This is the only way. “
“We’re not trying to copy the flies and bees, but we try to learn from them,” he said. “Physics limits the size of the drones. Insect robot has a wingspan of 33cm and a weight of 29g, which is 55 times the size of fruit flies. Battery allows bezplatnemu ssdsentity flight time 6min at a distance of up to 1km. But scientists are working on the improvement of the invention – reduction of the size up to the size of insects.
The Netherlands is one of the world’s largest exporters of agricultural and food products. Bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of edible crops grown in the country.
Of the 360 species of bees that occur in the country, half on the verge of extinction.
In General, in the sudden disappearance of insect pollinators accused of extensive use of pesticides.
Recently it became known that one popular pesticide can completely destroy the population of bumblebees.
It is the chemical substance thiamethoxam, which dramatically reduces the ability to reproduce the Royal bumblebees. The calculations predict that this could lead to the complete disappearance of local populations of wild bees. In April, the EU announced a ban on the use of pesticide in enclosed greenhouses until the end of 2018.
Karasek believes that in five to ten years will be the improved technology and the bees-robots can be used effectively in greenhouses.
Inventors are working to find a commercial partner for the project.