Well, to be honest, we can’t live without bees and there cannot be any substitute for them as well. But we also need to be cognizant of the fact that the bee population is significantly declining in certain regions of the world. Against this backdrop, Japanese scientists have come up with flower-pollinating drones.
A team of researchers from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science purchased $100 drones from Amazon and stuck horsehair to their bottom. After adding ionic liquid gels to the horsehair, the drones flew into the plants and got hold of the pollen from the male and female parts of pink and white Japanese lilies.
Eijiro Miyako, who is the head of the project, believes that this is the very first flower pollinating drone. However, he still considers bees to be our mighty flower pollinators. He is of the view that it will be great if high resolution cameras, artificial intelligence and GPS are integrated into these mini drones. But the compact size of drones renders this task as quite a complex one.
MIT Technology Review interviewed a bee broker in California who is adamant that no technology would ever be able to substitute bees. He insists that California’s almond industry requires 35 million bees and 1.8 million bee hives to pollinate 900,000 acres of almond trees. Now, that’s a huge figure when to come to think of it in terms of drones.
Pollinating drones could change the future of human race if scientists succeed in their efforts.