BorgesBorgesBorges60 OP t1_j7tqjxq wrote

You guys probably know by now that I love, love, bees. Thought I'd share this article about how a group of researchers in Finland have built a robot they claim could evolve into the first artificial pollinator:

>The robot resembles a dandelion seed and has several biomimetic features. Its porous structure and light weight (1.2mg) enable it to float in the air, directed by the wind. Notably, the robot can also adapt manually to wind direction and force by changing its shape. And thanks to a stable separated vortex ring generation it’s suitable for long-distance wind-assisted travelling.

One problem they've had, though, is sticking the landing:

>Nevertheless, the technology requires further research and collaboration with material scientists and microrobotics experts to address two main challenges: the precise control of the landing spot and reusing the device to make it biodegradable.

Full study here!


BorgesBorgesBorges60 OP t1_j3q5xb4 wrote

>[...] the machine’s ecological mode of operation is claimed to provide the same efficiency of a conventional heat pump, while increasing energy savings and overall cost.
>A big part of that is the pump’s modulation, which allows users to increase or decrease the speaker’s volume to achieve the desired power output. Apart from that, the system is easy to install, doesn’t require maintenance and has a lifespan of around 30 years — about twice as long as a conventional heat pump.

Better yet, its inventors claim that it runs completely silently, thereby avoiding the low, ominous drumbeat signalling the end of days and the battle between heaven and hell you'd expect from a device built this way.


BorgesBorgesBorges60 OP t1_j376qqq wrote

Some hopeful news that might avert the mass extinction of our insectoid friends, at least from American Foulbreed disease. And no, it doesn't involve beekeepers marching to every hive armed with tiny needles between their thumb and forefinger:

>The disease is caused by Paenibacillus larvae, a type of bacteria that affects the bee's larvae. The vaccine contains some of that bacteria, and it will be mixed in with the royal jelly, which worker bees secrete from their heads and then feed to the queen and larvae. When the queen eats the jelly, she will ingest fragments of the vaccine that will grant her offspring some immunity against the bacteria.

Could inspire other vaccines and prevent the need for swarms of mechanical bees servicing our fields and gardens and doing the occasional human murder.