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Harvard Develops RoboBees in Autonomous Flying Microrobots

Harvard Develops RoboBees in Autonomous Flying Microrobots

CAMBRIDGE, MA – With many forms of technology now promising to help alleviate the ag and environmental concerns of modern day, engineers at Harvard have developed a swarm of robotic bees to potentially answer pollination and climate mapping issues

Inspired by the biology of an actual bee, researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Insitute have successfully created a series of independent flying RoboBees. These bee-like robots are only slightly larger than a penny, and are undergoing continuous development with end roles of ag and disaster relief in mind. 

The most astonishing accomplishment of the RoboBee is not in its ability to dive and swim in water, but rather to hover in air. These hovering capabilities, according to Tech Insider, are the feature which would allow the RoboBees to pollinate crops and remove the pressure of that role from the current, and dwindling, population of honey bees. 

The RoboBees achieve flight through artificial muscles that contract when voltage is applied through the bees its wired power source. Tech Insider reported that the bees are a major breakthrough in micro-areial vehicles, and other robotics which share its interests. 

In addition to pollination, Harvard engineers have listed other possible uses for the RoboBee as the following: 

  • High-resolution weather and climate mapping
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Traffic monitoring
  • Search and rescue missions, particularly after natural disasters
  • Surveillance

The Wyss Institute stated that although the RoboBees could provide potential relief to the ag industry through artificial pollination, it would be a temporary solution for a preferred long-term natural solution, and requires the perfection of research that which could still be at least two decades away from completion.

To read more about the Wyss Institute's research and views on crop pollination, click here. Watch the video below to see the bee in action.

Could these RoboBees make an impact on the industry, and how soon will the industry be able to access the technology? AndNowUKnow will continue to update as the buzz unfolds.