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A magical IOT platform scientist turns bees into drones

a research team is trying to install a wireless sensor platform into the back of bees, so as to turn them into drones

source: Technology Walker December 18, 2018

key words:

a research team is trying to install a wireless sensor platform into the back of a bee, so as to turn it into a drone

with its excellent ability to hover in the air and overlook the ground, UAV is being welcomed by more and more audiences. However, due to the limitations of existing battery technology, such devices can only fly for 30 minutes after being fully charged

now, a research team at the University of Washington has found a way to make bumblebees act like small drones. The team has developed a device platform for sensing, computing and wireless communication. Its small size can even be carried on the back of insects

Shyam gollakota, a computer scientist at the University of Washington and head of the research project, said that we hope to use these best aircraft in nature. Insects can eat autonomously, and we don't need to keep charging the battery. In addition, the energy storage efficiency of fat and sugar is much higher than that of batteries

scientists tested three kinds of bumblebees and found that healthy worker bees can successfully complete flight and circling movements, and can carry about 105 mg of objects. Knowing this, the researchers developed an electronic platform weighing only 102 mg and measuring only 6.1 mm x 6.4 mm. It includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery weighing 70 mg, with a endurance of up to 7 hours; In addition, it also includes a microcontroller, antenna and sensor, which can analyze the temperature, humidity and light intensity every four seconds. Later, the research team glued these platforms to the back of bees. Gollakota explained that all the electronic products we use are ready-made components without oil flowing out of the return pipe of the oil delivery valve

in order to save power as much as possible, many traditional radio components are eliminated in this design scheme. Instead, it communicates by modifying the scattered radio signal, and the bee will transmit wireless data at a rate of about 1000 bits per second after returning to the hive

researchers point out that they are currently unable to control the trajectory of bees. However, they can still determine the location of insects. Their design does not use GPS equipment with huge power consumption, but relies on the deployment of special radio transmitters around the expected flight area of bees. As long as the bees stay within 80 meters of these beacons, the transmitter can be used as a beacon to track the location of the bees. Gollakota said that we can create maps based on the data collected by bee sensors

scientists also mentioned that they can charge the battery at the honeycomb wirelessly within 6 hours. They also mentioned that solar cells may eventually be used to replace existing conventional batteries

researchers mentioned that the potential application of this so-called fresh IOT platform may include measuring the health level of plants in the intelligent agricultural system. For example, humidity sensors help, XPS is 650 yuan per cubic meter to achieve precise irrigation, and temperature sensors can detect whether biological conditions are suitable for specific crops. Gollakota pointed out that drones can't really fly between plants, but bees can move in any place where the precision of information is higher than that of drones

if the damage is serious, the spring should be replaced. In addition, the sensor carried by the bee is also expected to reveal more biological characteristics of this magical species. Vikram Iyer, a computer engineer and electrical engineer at the University of Washington, pointed out that this may give people an in-depth understanding of the real reason for the collapse of the bee colony

looking forward to the future, gollakota believes that researchers may equip bees with cameras or sensors that can detect electrical signals in the brain of bees to explore how we can control their actions one day

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