Robotic Bees Help Halt Extinction

No, this isn’t from that Black Mirror episode, this is really happening. Researchers at FOCAS (Fundamentals of Collective Adaptive Systems) just completed a 5-year study on the benefit of introducing robotic bees into hives, taking the first steps to attempt saving the dwindling bee population. The study involved scientists using tiny, bee look-a-like robots to infiltrate a colony’s hive, gather information, and understand what environmental factors are the largest stressors on the bee population, leading to rapid extinction. 

During this study, artificial intelligence was relied on while trying to ensure the undercover robots not only looked like real bees, but could also wiggle, fly, and work alongside them, too. AI is integral in making the robots more sophisticated as they learn these behaviors from the real bees. Most importantly, the bees had to be able to do all of this as a unit along with one another and the real bees in the hive. This ability is the culmination of years of work in swarm robotics.

To learn more about these little robo-spies, click for the full article below!

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