KAPAT

ROBOT BEES

What would you think if we told you that honey bees that carry pollens from one flower to another by dancing under the sun all day and that provide enrichment to natural population through pollinating plants have become robots?

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, so would the humankind.” We would like to take a closer look at 
the honey bees, as this quote of Albert Einstein has started to be mentioned very frequently these days. Thanks to honey bees, plants are pollinated, fertilized. Furthermore, it is believed that the plants owe their very existence to the honey bees. 

When the number of honey bees has begun to decline as a consequence of the climate change, Walmart has started a study in this regard and invented “the robot honey bees” which will be able to pollinate plants just like honey bees.

Patent application filed by Walmart in 2017 indicates that the system functions based on the logic of pollination of the plants.

Walmart has also submitted a patent application regarding these robot bees. In the said application it is mentioned that there are one or more unmanned devices comprising a pollen applicator created for applying pollens which are gathered from the flowers of a plant to a secondary plant. There is also a sensor system constituted in order to confirm that pollens gathered by the pollen applicator positioned on robot bees are successfully transferred to another plant. By these means, while achieving free roaming of robot bees among flowers, controlling whether the desired systematic is procured of not can be exercised.

Will these robot bees which are the products of the technology and a brilliant intelligence be able to make honey just as the real honey bees can? The answer to this question, with existing technologies, is “No”. When compared to real bees, robot bees will be lacking characteristics such as making honey and reproduction, however, they will be able to carry out fertilization, pollination and pollen transportation.

Although it still remains unknown to us whether robot bees will have a robotic appearance resembling to a real bee in terms of visuals, it is a certain fact that they will be with us in the near future. It appears that we will be able to consume fruits and vegetables conveniently for a long time thanks to the robot bees.

We like to think about how the future will be shaped by the scientific developments. Some of the tv series and movies share their imagination with the audience to offer an insight into the future. Robot bees which are being worked on for an adaption to reality are actually not so different than robot bees that we come across in the show “Black Mirror”.

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