15:20 Dec. 21, 2016
B-Droid acts as an artificial bee in the pollination process
The flying innovation was developed by scientists from the Warsaw University of Technology.
The robot is controlled by an external computer. The device works at an autonomous regime and doesn't need an involvement of man. The user should just define an area of operation and unique flower properties.
Rafał Dalewski, an expert from Warsaw University of Technology's Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering, says that the quadcopter is controlled by a system of external cameras and a ground station computer. Cameras and the ground station provide information about the flowers' position. This data allows to plan a route and then launch quadcopter, which is directed by the system toward a flower. When it reaches one flower and collects pollen, it flies to another and another, until it reaches all flowers in a dedicated area.
There is a limitation of the project and that is its flight time, which is estimated at only a few minutes.
The flying robot was preceded by a wheel-based B-Droid, which has successfully pollinated strawberries and garlic. The first field tests were carried out in 2014.
Since 1990 the world has witnessed a drastic and exceptional population decline of bees. This decline can pose a threat to global agriculture, as bees play a crucial role in ecosystems, as one-third of all food relies on pollination.