Posted: 22 Aug 2011 10:45 AM PDT
Can a robot bee learn to do the “waggle dance” well enough to fool honeybees into following its directions?
At the Free University of Berlin, researchers are working on a mechanical bee they hope will be able to communicate with real bees about the location and quality of a food source. The implications for pollination services are enormous — if the robot bee can master the complex “waggle dance” language of bees, could it encourage a colony to work a field of canola rather than, say, more attractive wildflower forage in another direction?
What an idea! But it’s a steep learning curve for the scientists and their robot bee, according to Rebecca J. Rosen’s article in The Atlantic online:
Robotic Bee Presentation
Robot Bee Communicates with Real Bees
Project RoboBee: Can a Robot Learn the Bees’ Waggle Dance? Article by the Central Beekeepers Alliance - Honey Bees & Beekeeping in New Brunswick, Canada. Copyright © 2011 MindsEye Productions and Central Beekeepers Alliance. All rights reserved.
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