Robot Bees Set to Take to the Air in 2015

I’ll share a little secret with you guys: bees freak me out a bit. I understand their role in nature, and I respect them, but with their stingers and their flying and their buzzing, I get pretty uneasy when they’re around. In fact, I think the only thing that terrifies me more than bees are robots. Fingers crossed that we never get robot bees! What’s that? We’re getting robot bees? They’re going to be functional by 2015? Well, I’m out.

Scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex are trying to create the first accurate computer simulation of a honey bee brain, which they’ll then attempt to load into an autonomous flying robot. And they’re not just doing it to be evil geniuses – on the contrary, these bees could save the world by replacing the dwindling honey bee population.

The “Green Brain Project,” as it’s called, was just given one million pounds by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Tech company NVIDIA will supply the high-performance graphical processing units, otherwise known as GPU accelerators. The scientists aren’t actually trying to copy an entire honey bee brain, just two functions contained within – sight and smell. These traits will help the bees become autonomous.

Geek-centric website iO9 has additional information, but do you really need to hear more than “robot bees?” I didn’t think so.

Source: iO9

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