Mini drones sporting horsehair coated in a sticky gel could one day take the pressure of bee populations by transporting pollen from plant to plant, researchers said. Nearly three quarters of the world’s flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world’s food crops depend on animals to pollinate them, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Some of the nature’s more pollinators are bees, but bee population is declining around the world, and from last month, the fish and wildlife service listed a native species as endangered for the first time. Researchers from Japan said they’ve taken first steps toward creating robots that could help in making the slack up of insects’ pollinators. This is the proof of concept is that there is nothing compared to this. It is a totally first time demonstration, “said study leader. Some robots are expected to be used for experiments in pollination and it is never tried yet. But, while improving the ability of other insects to pollinate flowers is potential solution of the falling bee numbers, Researchers said he was not convinced and that’s why he looked elsewhere, it is very difficult using living organism for real practical realisations, so I decided to change my approach and use robots he said.
The hairs that insects make like fuzzy are important for their role as pollinators, because the hairs increase the surface area of the bees bodies, giving pollen more material to stick to. In order to give smooth plastic drone similar capabilities, the scientists added a patch of horse hair to the robot’s underside, which was then coated with the gel. The researchers then flew drones to collect the pollen from the other flowers Japanese lilies and transport pollen to other flowers. In each experiment, the researchers made 100 attempts at pollinating the flower, achieving all the success of the 37 percent. Real bees are self- respecting, self-powering and essentially carbon-neutral,” Goulson wrote in the post. “We have wonderfully efficiently working pollinators already. Let’s look after them, not plan for their demise.”