COULD ROBOT BEES HELP SAVE OUR CROPS?
RoboBees were created to respond to a problem so alarming that President Obama created an action plan for the Departments of Defense, Transportation, and Interior. This may sound unrelated to the food movement, but it’s not. Rather, it’s a contemporary solution to a serious problem that we face in the decline of nature’s pollinators. Inspired by the biology of a bee and the insect’s hive behavior, a team from Harvard began creating a miniature robot in 2007 to mimic nature’s intelligence. “We do not see robotic pollination as a wise or viable long-term solution to Colony Collapse Disorder. If robots were used for pollination—and we are at least 20 years away from that possibility— it would only be as a stop-gap measure while a solution to CCD is implemented to restore natural pollinators.”