: Polish engineers elaborate robotic bees to pollinate flowers

15:52 Jul. 5, 2016

Polish engineers elaborate robotic bees to pollinate flowers

Carniolan honey bee is collecting nectar from a blossom. (Getty Images)

First B-Droid already pollinated garlic and strawberry plants

Polish engineers presented a unique technical development. Designed as a bee, an autonomous robot named as B-Droid has been invented for artificial flower pollination. Firstly presented in Warsaw Polytechnic university, the gadget has already undertaken several test launchings, all of them successful.

The idea of the robotic bee belongs to Dr. Rafał Dalewski from the Department of Power Engineering and Aviation of Warsaw Polytechnic University. In his interview for Polish Press agency he noted "the newly elaborated device is able to find a suitable flower, gather its pollen, and finally transfer it to another flower of the same kind."

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The key issue Dalewski stressing on is that the B-Droid functions autonomously, with no human control. The list of functions necessary for flower pollination is encoded in special software. The program at first localizes the corresponding flower in the three-dimensional space, afterwards the B-Droid approaches the object and gathers pollen step by step. The technology has been already tested on garlic and strawberries. The researchers are satisfied with the results.

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"It is only the beginning of the technical revolution in gardening and agriculture. If we talk about spacious gardens or fields, flying B-Droids are much more suitable," says Dalewski. Currently his team is preoccupied with elaborating a special flying construction for flower pollination. Apart from the B-Droid project, the engineers strive for developing autonomous robots capable of plant cultivation, as well as nurturing new biological sorts.

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