Researchers at the Polytechnic University of Warsaw have created the first robotic bee. This bee is designed to artificially pollinate, a miniature “drone”, which can detect a flower, collect its pollen and transfer it to another flower, fertilizing it.
This robotic insect has been successfully tested in the field, and its ability to pollinate emerges as an alternative to the possibility of facing the constant and large scale reduction of the world bee population. Its creator, engineer Rafael Dalewski, stated that, “Last summer, we tested and we already have the first seed obtained through this artificial pollination, so it is proved that our robot can do almost the same as the real bees”.
The little robotic bee, “does not want to replace the insects, but rather to help their work and complement it,” said the engineer, who declined to comment on the question of whether it is the real bees or the drones who pollinate the best.
Still, the engineer admitted that he was not able to design a “drone” that can produce honey, but, “the technology advances very quickly and each time it surprises us more”.
This “biodrone” can be programmed to focus only on a certain area or to look for flowers of a certain type to pollinate. And all this is achieved through a computer program that controls the device.
The Warsaw Polytechnic has already created two types of “pollinating drones”, one flying and one terrestrial. They are both equipped with a “duster” that propagates the pollen among several flowers.
The terrestrial apparatus, on the other hand, has more autonomy of work and the capacity of its battery is superior, for that reason, “the farmer can retire calmly the house and leave the drone to work, until it returns of autonomous form To its source of energy”.
Rafael Dalewski, said that these robots can also be used for “precision agriculture”, such as “smart dispensers” of fertilizers, fertilizers or even pesticides, since they can be programmed to deposit certain quantities according to the type of plant or location.
The University expects to launch the first prototypes as early as next year and thus begin serial production within approximately two years. This invention is quite significant in view of the fact that the mortality of pollinating insects, on which most crops depend, has been rising drastically every year without the causes of this phenomenon being known.
This problem is already global, especially in countries with more developed agriculture, and has already led many scientists to warn of the effects of a world without bees.
In the year 2014, the European Union made a first study on bee mortality, which showed numbers between 3.5% and 33.6% depending on the countries.
Bees are key agents for pollination, both for crops and for nature. If this does not happen, the yield of agriculture will decline, thus threatening plant species whose only means of pollination are bees.