Walmart filed a patent for some robotic bees which can pollinate plants. The company joins many in trying to fix a problem caused by the endangerment of bees.
Bees are regarded to be one of the most important species on the planet. They do almost everything to make humans lives bearable. From producing the all too sweet and tasty honey to pollinating flowers and plants to produce some food. Not to mention the various uses of honey itself, from face masks to hair products. Therefore, it is saddening to hear that some types of bees have been put on the endangered species list. This list also includes some bumblebees.
Therefore, as usual, humans after destroying something, are trying to look for ways to pollinate their plants. And fortunately, Walmart seems to have an idea how to go about it. The company filed a patent on the 8th of March, for some robot bees. The bees which are autonomous, are called the pollination drones. Based on their name, they are there to help with the pollination of crops and plants.
The company also filed some five more patents which included additional farming drones. One of the drones is used to track down some pests that usually affect plants. The other drone patent that was created is there to monitor and check upon the health status of the several crops on the field. The report was done by Science Alert.
Bee drone patent
However, the patent for the drones is the one that is most enticing. The bee drones have several functions and capabilities. They can pollinate plants just like the real-life bees, and have more functions. They also include some tiny cameras which help with the detection of the crops. The cameras can spot which of the exact spots of the plants meed pollination at that time. The drones have some sensors on them which are there to ensure that pollination is successful.
Walmart has always been known to delve into the robot market. This is not their first time and they are looking in several areas. The company is reportedly testing some robots which are able to scan inventory. The procedure is believed to be cheaper than using humans for the procedure. The company is partnering with Bossa Nova to test the scanner robots.
Walmart could not be reached for comment before going to print.
Is it the first time?
The use of artificial pollination agents has been looked into in previous years. Walmart is definitely not the first company to work on the program. The renowned university, Harvard University, looked into the issue of artificial pollination back in 2013. They brought forward the first bees called the RoboBees. Last year, one of the industrial design students at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia also created his own technique. He made the Plan Bee, a bee drone which would have a smart device controller. The drone would be able to pollinate plants and flowers just like a bee would.
Doubts and fears still arise with the anything autonomous that it will turn on the human race. Especially bees and how in their natural state have caused problems before. Thankfully, as of now, the autonomous bees are all in the prototype stage, therefore they aren’t dangerous, yet!