When we heard that the National Science Foundation awarded $10 million to Harvard to make a swarm of robot bees, our first thought was: "We could do it for half the price." Then we remembered that the university has been down this path before, including its robot fly
program (whatever happened to that thing?) and might be the better choice after all. What does the NSF and Harvard hope to get for all that time and money? Aside from insight into such areas as distributed intelligence, robotic flight, and energy storage, a swarm of these bad boys could be tasked to do anything from battlefield spying to pollination (which might be necessary, with the way that real bees are vanishing at such an alarming rate). The RoboBee project is slated to run for the next five years. Video after the break.
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