NEW YORK (Rahnuma): Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a wearable sensing system for bumblebees to collect data.
The data, however, are not about bees themselves. Instead, the device collects data about location, temperature and humidity which can be used to figure out the health of plant life in a certain area.
Actually, farmers can already collect these data with drones. But “these machines need so much power to fly that they can’t get very far without needing a charge,” the university said on its website.
As bees can fly on their own, the wearable device does not need a dynamical system, thus its battery could last for about seven hours while drones could only fly for 10 or 20 minutes, according to the university. Scientists could recharge the batteries wirelessly and gather the collected data in a hive where bees return every night.
“Having insects carry these sensor systems could be beneficial for farms because bees can sense things that electronic objects, like drones, cannot,” said Shyam Gollakota, associate professor at the University of Washington.
“With a drone, you’re just flying around randomly, while a bee is going to be drawn to specific things, like the plants it prefers to pollinate. And on top of learning about the environment, you can also learn a lot about how the bees behave,” he added.