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Drone pollinators could save crops

|13 February 2017|

Japan

Japanese researchers have shown that tiny artificial drone pollinators could help save crops from the threat posed by declining honeybee numbers.

Using a sticky gel on an aerial drone, scientists from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have demonstrated their ability to act as artificial pollinators.

“High-performance robotics can help counter the decline in honeybee populations,” the AIST team revealed in the journal, Chem. “We believe that robotic pollinators will be able to move smartly and learn the optimal pollination path by using GPS and artificial intelligence.”

While in its early stages, this is a vital breakthough and points to one potential solution to the disastrous impact falling bee numbers will have on food production.

“Bees and other pollinating insects play an essential role in ecosystems. A third of all our food depends on their pollination. A world without pollinators would be devastating for food production,” Greenpeace said.

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Iain Robertson
Written By

Iain is an experienced writer, journalist and lecturer, who held editorships with a number of business focussed publications before co-founding and becoming editor of Innovators Magazine. Iain is also the strategic director for OnePoint5Media.

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