This Retail Corporation Is Going To Produce Autonomous Robot Bees, They Filed A Patent
This reminds us of an episode of the TV show Black Mirror. Have you heard about autonomous robotic bees? Well, Walmart, the huge company has filed a patent to produce these robotic bees named pollination drones that would work just like the live bees.
These bees would carry pollen from one to another plant with the help of sensors as well as cameras in order to identify the locations of the crops. They were first noticed by CB Insights.
The patent appears with five more patents for farming drones. One would be able to notice pests and the other would be able to observe the health of crops. Business Insider did not get a comment from Walmart immediately.
The precise goal of Walmart is not clear now, but it may mean that they are trying to venture into agriculture as well as get more control over their food supplies. It makes sense because the company has focused on improving their business of grocery delivery.
The retailer of Walmart announced that they will deliver to 800 stores this year, and that would be about 40% of the USA families. In some places, the delivery would take just 3 hours.
Back in January, the company filed a patent even for an online grocery shopping service in which the customers would be able to reject or accept products picked by the employees. This is not the first company to create robot bees.
During the last years, researchers have been trying to find a solution to the decline of honeybees. They are very important because they pollinate about 1/3 of the food we consume, and sadly, they are dying because of a colony collapse disorder.
What does this mean? Back in 2006 happened something terrible and inexplicable. Thriving bee colonies in the USA disappeared all of a sudden. They left their beehives empty, and sadly, their bodies were never found.
That is why the researchers named this CCD or a colony collapse disorder. From then, bees continue to disappear for no reason, and that has an impact on the agriculture community.
It is really important because honeybees pollinate food crops of every kind, so it affects all of us. Having no honeybees puts in danger the food we eat.
Anyway, the first robot bees were introduced in 2013 by Harvard University, but then, they were able only to fly and hover midair. However, the robot bees have advanced a lot.
Nowadays, these robot bees are able to swim underwater, stick to surfaces, as well as dive in and out of the water. According to the researchers, the RoboBees may be able to pollinate the crops, and that would help to compensate for the bee losses.
Although the bees from the University of Harvard can do a few tricks, they cannot be controlled, but the Walmart’s bees would be controlled and they would be able to identify pollen.
This means that these RoboBees one day would work on farms, not just in a laboratory. So, even though we may be losing bees, which is terrible, there may be a chance to save the crops with this robot bees.
Source: Science Alert