Save the BeeBots
Our relationships with bees and the one we have with our parents are quite similar. Yes, they can be annoying. But, they do a lot for us. The truth is, the world’s pollinators are disappearing before our eyes, and bees play a crucial role in providing a healthy food system for the world population.
In true human fashion, this is just another area where we dug our hands and messed everything up. Toxic chemicals and pesticides are killing bees – left, right, and centre – and are weakening bees’ immune systems. This makes it harder for them to get their tasks done. One of which is pollinating one out of every three bites of food we eat, according to foe.org.
This is one of the major reasons why the #SaveTheBees movement was created. The movements’ mission is simple: Save The Bees! But is this truly the only way for us to conserve our healthy food system?
Israel-based company Arugga AI Farming created bee robots which use deep learning to autonomously travel down a row in the greenhouse, use their cameras as well as AI to rapidly spot different flowers ready for pollinating. The little robot bees then blast air at the flowers to pollinate them. Small startups aren’t the only ones looking at robots as an alternative to bees, with Walmart (WMT: NYSE) reportedly filing a patent for similar technology back in 2018.
At this time, these robots are said to be on par with the manual labour required by farmworkers in countries like Australia, who rely on human workers to pollinate their farms with a vibrating wand due to biosecurity laws and a lack of bumblebees. But all this comes with a 5-figure dollar price tag per robot, as the company has yet to scale up production at this time.
Maybe one day the world will be saying goodbye to bee stings and hello to electric shocks!