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Harvard's Robotic Bees Generate High-Tech Buzz

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the electric-honey dept.

Technology 105

coondoggie writes "Harvard researchers recently got a $10 million grant to create a colony of flying robotic bees, or RoboBees, to (among other things) spur innovation in ultra-low-power computing and electronic 'smart' sensors; and refine coordination algorithms to manage multiple, independent machines. The 5-year, National Science Foundation-funded RoboBee project could lead to a better understanding of how to mimic artificially the unique collective behavior and intelligence of a bee colony; foster novel methods for designing and building an electronic surrogate nervous system able to sense and adapt to changing environments; and advance work on the construction of small-scale flying mechanical devices, according to the Harvard RoboBee Web site."

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Missing an important benefit (4, Interesting)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675579)

They really should be trying to find something else: more reliable pollination. Yes real bees already do this but mass-produced robo-bees, besides being really cool, don't catch colony-dropping diseases.

Re:Missing an important benefit (3, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675643)

mass-produced robo-bees ... don't catch colony-dropping diseases

Who says? The minute a viable robo-bee is created, I'm guessing someone will be thinking up a robo-bee virus. (In fact, a robo-bee virus actually sounds kinda cool!)

Re:Missing an important benefit (4, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676237)

Then we'll all be installing RAV antivirus for BeOS.

Re:Missing an important benefit (1)

gmanterry (1141623) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676983)

01001001 00100000 01100001 01101101 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 00200001

Re:Missing an important benefit (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677405)

LOL, one of the more creative responses I've received to my sig!

Re:Missing an important benefit (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680615)

41 72 65 20 74 6f 6f

Re:Missing an important benefit (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677657)

That actually sounds like a viable idea for a cyber-terrorist, sadly.

I wouldn't put it past al-qaeda to pull off something like that.

Re:Missing an important benefit (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675649)

exactly what I was thinking. Robot bees could guarantee 100% pollination rates or close. Not saying natural bees aren't good. Still Still I wonder if they will make mini flies for spying on people.

Re:Missing an important benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29676333)

Once the robobees determine that you are a terrorist, they converge upon you and sting you. Then we have plausible deniability - they will just say "it musta been them Africanized bees; you know how they love to cause trouble".

Re:Missing an important benefit (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678067)

The first thing they will need is better batteries (or some other power source/store)

All that efficient low power electronics is nice and good. But if you're going to have a robot bee fly for more than say 15 minutes, you are going to need better batteries, or really tiny fuel cells, or a really strong wind/tornado ;).

When you look at that scale we are so far behind. Bees (or even tiny fruit flies) can fly about, navigate, avoid threats, find food, gracefully deal with minor damage and not least of all they don't run out of power that quickly while doing all of that.

As for mimicking colony behaviours and developing algorithms, there's no need to build robots for that. You can do it all in computers. If you haven't managed to simulate artificial bees well in computers, having a robot bee hardly helps.

Re:Missing an important benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29679079)

They probably don't need to fly for more than 15 min. Especially if you can make them recharge (ie solar, kinetic vibrations and/or ambient RF power).

You could also make the hive itself mobile.

Re:Missing an important benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29682157)

Make 'em run on sugar.

Re:Missing an important benefit (2, Interesting)

camperslo (704715) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675695)

They really should be trying to find something else: more reliable pollination.

Yes! Perhaps they can even make a variety good at pollinating cherimoya. Apparently South America has some bugs absent in the U.S., so most have to resort to hand-pollination with a small brush or something to get good yields from a cherimoya tree. The fruit is delightful.

Re:Missing an important benefit (1)

little_hate_machine (1324025) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676495)

Would it not be easier to create a gen-eng plant that doesn't need to be pollinated. I mean, come on people... Pollination is so 20th century

Re:Missing an important benefit (1)

emjay88 (1178161) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676609)

There is probably a reason that plants (or more specifically, their ancestor) gave up asexual reproduction a long time ago. From memory, the currently accepted reason was that it allowed for more variety in the gene pool and therefore could allow for more agile adaptation to changing environmental factors that are impacting an organism's survival.

For plants that we're trying to domesticate (see: Artificial Selection [wikipedia.org] ), faster evolution is probably better.

Re:Missing an important benefit (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680961)

They really should be trying to find something else: more reliable pollination. Yes real bees already do this but mass-produced robo-bees, besides being really cool, don't catch colony-dropping diseases.

You could pollinate with robotic ants, though, or just with some robot that trundles down the lanes sticking probes into flowers. Bees are good at it because bees and plants have co-evolved. Flowers attract bees, and [some] bees actually vibrate their wings at a frequency which stimulates pollen release. This is especially true of bumblebees who are often therefore used for greenhouse pollinators.

The full mechanism for colony collapse disorder is still not known. The best indicator though is still the varroa mites which are a problem mostly because of the use of preformed foundation wax panels. These panels are installed into frames in order to cause the bees to produce wax cells of uniform size, and to reduce the amount of wax they must produce (which takes away from honey production.) Unfortunately, larger bees are more susceptible to invasion by mites! The best solution is to permit the bees to produce their own wax, which reduces honey production but which also reduces mite invasion. Then again, these mites may have only become this much of a problem due to global warming; average temps are rising and winters are often mitigated. Anecdotally, I'm seeing a lot of beetles and even birds which are definitely not native to this region, and seeing them proliferate in fact. Usually the winters wipe out certain species...

Can they sting? (1)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675587)

Maybe they should have mimicked hornets instead of yellow jackets...

What's the difference between Harvard and MIT? (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675601)

Everything you do at MIT is pointless.
You don't actually do anything at Harvard.

Re:What's the difference between Harvard and MIT? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675663)

What's the difference between those two and Yale?

I know it's for the law program, but you might find this amusing.

Re:What's the difference between Harvard and MIT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29675711)

Yale is in Connecticut?

Re:What's the difference between Harvard and MIT? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675735)

Frak. Helps if I bother inserting the relevant link [mindingthecampus.com] .

I guess my Yale education is showing.

Re:What's the difference between Harvard and MIT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29676021)

Everything you do at MIT is pointless.
You don't actually do anything at Harvard.

Everything you type is just envy, It's tough that you weren't smart enough to make it at a place like MIT.

Re:What's the difference between Harvard and MIT? (3, Funny)

melikamp (631205) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676841)

This is not altogether pointless. This new data could help to finally settle the question:

To bee or not to bee?

Re:What's the difference between Harvard and MIT? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677647)

I think 'to pee or not to pee' is a more relevant question.

Re:What's the difference between Harvard and MIT? (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679553)

Any flying bee created at Harvard would come complete with a plan for incorporation, 100,0000,000 stock certificates for the initial IPO, and 12 lawyers aboard and thus would never be able to get off of the ground.

The MIT bee would just work.

(Seriously, Harvard ?? Far better CMU, MIT, Cal Poly, Stanford...but Harvard ? lollll...the skull in "Skull and Bones" is empty for a reason.)

Re:What's the difference between Harvard and MIT? (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679627)

Egads...never comment on /. on the first cup of coffee. My apologies, Harvard. Was thinking Yale.

Democratizing power of tech (0, Offtopic)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675609)

I've always thought it was interesting that we take the democratizing power of tech for granted. Certainly, those in Iran, China, or other places around the world may have access which, in pre-Internet days, would've been impossible. But I've always thought the democratizing power of tech would go into reverse with stuff like this article discusses. Imagine a true surveillance society, powered by those with the funds to create this kind of tech (i.e. governments). That could be the direction at least a few governments are headed in.

I'm not saying that this will happen, but I just think most folks have not considered the very long term implications of technology. Over the long-term technology may not be democratizing at all.

Re:Democratizing power of tech (3, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676415)

I've been thinking similar things, and although I would be loathe to go back to the days of having to head down to the library and look through cards to find a book that answers a question I can get an answer for from google in seconds, the search trail I leave says a lot about me. Anyone who actually played around with the AOL search data realizes this.

My first thought when thinking about a network of tiny robots, was that someone in some government in this world will definitely turn this into a surveillance and data gathering tool. So while I love technology and the ease it brings to my life, I am also becoming more aware that my privacy is at much greater risk now than it was even as recently as the early/middle 90s. As technology becomes more pervasive, the ability to abuse it becomes more pervasive and I'm worried about that, in a non-Luddite fashion.

Re:Democratizing power of tech (1)

zeropointburn (975618) | more than 4 years ago | (#29683189)

Fortunately, some geeky miscreant (perhaps even one from our own ranks) will open-source their design for a bee-killing EMP. We will then identify the colony flight paths, lay our ambushes, and watch the 'electrical disturbance' repair bills mount until the whole project is scrapped. Even if that one vector is somehow blocked, there must be plenty of ways to disrupt this kind of device.

BEEEEES! (1)

Pherlin (1131333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675613)

Your firearms are useless against them!

Re:BEEEEES! (3, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675717)

My firearm is a flamethrower.

Re:BEEEEES! (3, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675871)

So your firearm is a...fire...arm?

Why Fight? (0)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676083)

I, for one, welcome our new killer robotic bee overlords.

Re:Why Fight? (2, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676183)

I, for one, welcome our new killer robotic bee overlords.

Hey, why not? We've had Microsoft's evangelism team infesting this place with the same goal for years.

A few more pointless drones generating high-tech buzzes won't make a lot of difference.

the Wicker Man flashbacks (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675627)

Now we can see Nicholas Cage yelling [youtube.com] "Not the bees! AHHHHHHH They're ROBOTS!"

Re:the Wicker Man flashbacks (2, Funny)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675901)

Killing them won't bring back your goddamn honey!

Re:the Wicker Man flashbacks (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678779)

Now we can see Nicholas Cage yelling "Not the bees! AHHHHHHH They're ROBOTS!"

Actually, I saw Daniel shouting "Reese, your father made you wrong!"

NO (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675635)

No. Just plain no.

Paying people to create robotic hiveminds?

That way lies madness. Terrible, stinging, robotic madness.

Yeah? (-1, Troll)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675679)

Well, I for one, welcome our new stinging swarm of robotic overlords...

I Know What We Could Do ... (3, Funny)

HiggsBison (678319) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675657)

Um... um... teach them to spell! Robotic Spelling Bees! Woohoo!

Re:I Know What We Could Do ... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676159)

Um... um... teach them to spell! Robotic Spelling Bees! Woohoo!

P.U.

Re:I Know What We Could Do ... (1)

Loko Draucarn (398556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680943)

No, no. Harvard.

Purdue's got nothing to do with this project.

(nor does Pimento University, Alma Mater to those paragons of scholarly manhood, the Dover Boys.)

Re:I Know What We Could Do ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681695)

P-l-u-t-o-n-i-u-m Plutonium

Sigh..... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29675675)

I don't know if I'm getting jaded or what, but any new research announcement about some high-tech micro or nano robotics project just really doesn't get me excited. Technically, it's all quite fascinating and certainly a design challenge, but I just can't help dreading when stuff like this will be in the hands of every podunk police dept. or jack-off who's able to buy them from an online "security" store. That doesn't sound like a free or fun reality to me.

Congratulations! (1)

DougF (1117261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676003)

You've just matured. You may now leave the basement...

robotic honeybees (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675729)

Now we just need to get them to make honey and pollinate plants, before the real bee colonies all collapse...

Re:robotic honeybees (3, Funny)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675985)

Great...I can see it now. "Why does this tomato taste like....aluminum and carbon fiber?"

Re:robotic honeybees (2, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677033)

Robotic bee spit ... now with flavor.

Clever? (4, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675831)

Harvard's Robotic Bees Generate High-tech Buzz

said robotic bees also generate horribly obvious story title pun on /.

Re:Clever? (5, Funny)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676613)

Yeah, insect puns really tick me off.

Re:Clever? (2, Funny)

Crash24 (808326) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677355)

Yeah, insect puns really tick me off.

That's like saying arachnid puns bug me.

Re:Clever? (1)

EvolutionsPeak (913411) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676705)

Does it sting?

Re:Clever? (1)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678467)

Buzzkill.

This reminds me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29675837)

...of a book called prey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prey_%28novel%29

"Ultra" low power (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29675861)

Using this kind extreme words outside marketing has always annoyed me.

10 years from now when we come up with machines that require even less power, what shall we call them? I think we will run out of words meaning 'very' before we stop advancing in technology. At that point we will either have to start calling everything 'ultra' (which has pretty much happened already, I guess. Every new product must be named Xtreme Platinium MAX or something) or we will have to start using terms that are actually... I don't know... Informative.

Re:"Ultra" low power (2, Interesting)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676451)

They'll just start adding them together.
UltraUltra low power
UltraSuperMicroMini low power
PicoPicoPicoPicoPower

Or we could skip all that and do what ST does; Embellish a bit and call it "zeropower" (which is trademarked no less).

Zeropower NVRAM [st.com] - Which of course is battery backed, and uses... power.

$10 Million in this economy.. (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675899)

... Thats got to sting!

As long as... (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675913)

As long as Keanu Reeves and a Large one eyed robot aren't involved.

Good News Everyone (0)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675957)

Leela: "What's the mission?"

Farnsworth: "Collecting honey. Ordinary honey."

Leela: "That doesn't sound so dangerous."

Farnsworth: "This is no ordinary honey! It's produced by vicious space^H robo bees. A single sting of their hideous neuro^H robotoxin can cause instant death!"

Re:Good News Everyone (1)

SBrach (1073190) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676189)

They're the size of a Buick and twice as ugly.

Looking into the future... (4, Funny)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675981)

In the near future...
"5 Million dollars worth of robo-bees were destroyed when a robotic "Pooh Bear" attempted to retrieve honey from the hive. The Pooh Bear lodged itself into the only high opening, preventing the colony from being able to return to their re-charging stations. Their charge depleted, they fell to the ground and shattered. A "r.a.b.b.i.t." is reportedly en-route to retrieve the pooh bear."

Re:Looking into the future... (2, Funny)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676809)

Oh, crud. I'm a Winni-the-Pooh geek. Alright, it won't be pretty, but let's just get this over with. I'll do my best on the snarky, elitist fanboi tone, but I can't guarantee the results.

Sorry, n00b. Pooh Bear didn't get stuck in the hive when he was trying to get honey from the hive. First, the branch broke, then he used a balloon to disguise himself as a rain cloud. When none of that worked, and he concluded they were the wrong sorts of bees, went to Rabbit's house, invited himself to lunch, and gorged himself on honey. Then he got stuck in Rabbit's front entrance, and they had to wait for him to get thin again. When he finally budged, they all pulled on him until he popped out of the hole, launching him into the honey tree. That's when he plugged the bees' hole (and again gorged himself on their honey).

[HANGS HEAD IN SHAME].

Re:Looking into the future... (1)

RendonWI (958388) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680315)

You know I am just going to assume you are 100% correct. Never heard of a Pooh geek before. Too bad you got modded funny, I would have gone with informative.

Re:Looking into the future... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681489)

You know I am just going to assume you are 100% correct.

He is. But he somehow misspelled "Winnie-the-Pooh".

Zee Bees (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29675991)

I, for one, welcome our new robotic, insect overlords.

I am not afraid cause... (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 4 years ago | (#29675999)

He's protected from 3 inch bees, that's right.
He's protected from 3 inch bees, tonight!
A 3 inch bee can't sting this guy!
A 3 inch bee shouldn't even try!
He's protected from 3 inch bees, that's right!

Re:I am not afraid cause... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29676063)

eBee 2.0" will teach you some respect.

Prey? (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676105)

Shades of Michael Chricton's Prey [wikipedia.org] . Fun.

Re:Prey? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677691)

That was by far his worst book. What a load of nonsense.

Next up... (1)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676201)

Boston dynamics teams up with Harvard to make a robot dog with robot bees in its mouth and when it barks it shoots bees at you.

High-tech Buzz (1)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676211)

Is it bad that the first thing I thought of was marketing shills?

Military applications? (2, Interesting)

RNLockwood (224353) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676253)

This appears to have military applications, say a swarm of cheap cruise missiles that any country could afford. Other than that it is way cool.

Re:Military applications? (2, Insightful)

marciot (598356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676711)

How much explosive power can you pack into a bee-sized missile? I doubt being able to set off firecrackers would qualify as military firepower.

Re:Military applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29676773)

A bat would be more useful. In fact, go ahead and google "bat bomb". The allies had one during WW2 that they actually tested on wooden buildings, with surprisingly good results. Or perhaps not surprisingly, considering that wooden buildings have a tendency to burn to the ground if you leave a burning candle alone in a room for five minutes.

Re:Military applications? (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677057)

How much explosive power can you pack into a bee-sized missile?

How much venom does a coral snake bite deliver?

Re:Military applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29680733)

nuclear bees?

Re:Military applications? (3, Interesting)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677381)

Exploding bees? That doesn't seem very useful given the small payload capacity. A more practical military application would be in targeted chemical/biological warfare. A sentry hive placed outside a military outpost could sniff intruders for a chemical friend-or-foe signature and, if it's absent, they could attack. This could even be used as a non-lethal weapon if the robotic insects injected a paralytic agent rather than a toxin.

The military applications are actually extremely interesting!

Re:Military applications? (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677833)

Yea mean like ketamine-laced robot bees? That would be awesome.

I can see it now... A high-security military installation is equipped with a hive of these sentry bees. News of the security mechanism spreads to a local college campus, and on Monday morning guards at the military installation find their perimeter lined with hundreds of catatonic k-holing [wikipedia.com] college students.

Re:Military applications? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677791)

Nah, they'd be easy to thwart via flying windshields.
   

Re:Military applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29679447)

Surveillance is almost always the first military goal of these type of things. Then they add weapons later. Look no further than things like the Predator UAV, etc for examples. First it was a surveillance plane, now it carries Hellfires.

Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29676503)

Michael's Crichton Prey anyone?

busy bee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29676545)

The bee he is a busy soul,
he has no time for birth control.
And that is why in times like these,
there are so many sons of bees.

Prophetic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29676579)

I am a given cynic but does it remind anyone else here of Michael Crichton's 'Prey' where a swarm of nano-robots develops enough intelligence to turn back on humans ....

Bullshit (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676717)

The 5-year, National Science Foundation-funded RoboBee project could lead to a better understanding of how to mimic artificially the unique collective behavior and intelligence of a bee colony;

Technically true, but the same can be achieved with far cheaper computer simulations. In fact I suspect said simulation would be run *before* said behavior is implemented in the pricey flying robots.

Where it will lead.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29676725)

The results of such experiments are described in 1964 novel The Invincible by StanisÅaw Lem. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Invincible.

Harvard? Frustrating name dropping. (1)

mutualrecursion (1625757) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676793)

The exact same project done at most universities would at best get a reference of "scientists do XYZ". Harvard does it (or MIT, even more) and not only it's more likely to get promoted, it also gets the headline "Harvard researchers do XYZ". Slashdot is for intelligent people (ok, mostly). We shouldn't be feeding the hype cycle.

Robotic Bees or Half Bees? (4, Funny)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29676865)

Half a bee, philosophically, Must, ipso facto, half not be. But half the bee has got to be Vis a vis, its entity. D'you see? But can a bee be said to be Or not to be an entire bee When half the bee is not a bee Due to some ancient injury?

Re:Robotic Bees or Half Bees? (1)

Thoughts from Englan (1212556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679397)

I hope you have a licence for that half a bee

Electric Honey Dept (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677145)

Back in the sixties I had a band called Electric Honey

A nice token to start (1)

Mr_Blank (172031) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677253)

I doubt that $10 million is enough to get very far in reverse engineering biological bees, much less building a colony of robo-bees with features similar to bio-bees. Nature has spent millions of years on a massively parallel R&D project to create bees as we see them today. At MIT rates, $10 million should be just enough to get some professors by until they need more grant money, and maybe pad the resumes of some grad students. There will be no robo-bee overlords anytime soon.

Grant? (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677295)

What a waste of money, if you want a swarm of mechanical bees place a bounty of 10 million on it and it will get done!

Next up: robotic dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29677307)

with robotic bees in its mouth so that when it robotically barks it shoots robotic bees at you.

Umm...excuse me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29677429)

Just one thing. What happens if a few of these robo-bees escape and are captured by (as we will now call them) bio-bees? What if the bio-bees dismantle the few escaped robo-bees and adapt the technology to suit themselves? I'll tell you what will happen! We will have an unstoppable force of nature on our hands! A collective of cyberneticly enhanced bees sending their drones out across the planet, destroying all who stand in their way, and assimilating all those brave bees who might resist! Disaster! Disaster I tell you!

Science: all about could, not about should.

Not one single Invader Zim reference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29677559)

Who are you people, and what have you done with the real Slashdot?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOq1ViF8oFk

Spurring what? (1)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677751)

Anytime a grant is designed to 'spur innovation', that raises a red flag in my book. It isn't a grant to actually innovate, no, that would be too useful...instead it is a grant that is supposed to inspire others to innovate!

Path to an Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678477)

Hmm Robo Bee sounds like a predecessor to Borg colonies. What do you think, Jean Luc?

More sleepless nights! (1)

E33K TH3 B34R (1652405) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679185)

This is worse than my 'Terminator nightmares' ! ! . . . .I wasnt dead chuffed when I first heard about Africanised Bees n e way! .... Maybe we coud race them?

Nanobees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29679873)

I heard [slashdot.org] nanobees kick robobees asses.

That Thou art Mindful of Him (1)

l2718 (514756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29682061)

I think it's obligatory to reference Asimov [wikipedia.org] in any story about robo-bees.

B2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29682813)

...giving new meaning to the phrase... Attack of the killer bees!!!!!!!!!!!

Who needs Terminators when you can have a bunch of little robo-bees attack humans with neurotoxin stings.

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