A Giant US Retail Corporation (Walmart) Just Filed a Patent For Autonomous Robot Bees

In addition to being your humble editor at AC2 News I also am a hack gardener. Maybe slightly better than a hack, but not much better. Regardless I am interested in things like soil, growing seasons, and pollinators.

Pollinators are bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and all the other little creatures that go from flower to flower carrying flower pollen and enabling the reproductive process of plants. Where I used to  live, Crozet Virginia at the very foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and in the heart of orchard country, pollinators abound.

An orchard near my old home. Bees are a key part of its success.

 

But some pollinators, bees particularly, are famously having a tough go of things. They are dying off in huge numbers and have now for years. This is true around the world. And despite much research we still don’t know exactly why this is happening. The usual answer is that it is a cluster of factors – a syndrome – versus a defined disease.

Whatever the case there definitely seem to be fewer European bees around than when I was a child.

But not to worry! Walmart just filed a patent on robo-bees. We don’t see how this could go wrong at all. (It should be noted that much of this tech is being driven by taxpayer funded researchers.)

Who wants bees when we can have tiny robots flying around our homes and pollinating our food source? Can’t wait.

(From Business Insider)

In recent years, scientists have searched for solutions to the decline of honeybees, which pollinate nearly one-third of the food we eat and are dying at unprecedented rates largely because of a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder. (In 2017, however, these deaths declined from the year prior.)

Harvard University researchers introduced the first RoboBees in 2013. At the time, the bee-size robots could only fly and hover midair when tethered to a power source, but they have advanced since then.

Today, the RoboBees can also stick to surfaces, swim underwater, and dive in and out of water.

The researchers believe these RoboBees could soon artificially pollinate fields of crops – a development that would help offset the yearly bee losses over the past two decades.

Click here for the article.