Bee brain simulation used to pilot a drone

Bee brain simulation used to pilot a drone
Credit: Green Brain Project

The team of researchers working on the The Green Brain Project has advanced to the point of being able to use what they've created in mimicking a honeybee brain, to actually pilot a flying robot drone—at least partially. The aim of the project is to completely reproduce a bee's brain in digital form, allowing at some point, a flying robot to function as the real thing with onlookers none the wiser.

Despite its small size, and limited thinking abilities, the of the bee is still an incredibly complicated piece of biology. It allows the bee to see its environment, respond to it, fly around in it and to go about its bee activities, such as mating, pollinating and stinging those that interrupt its mission. The people running the Green Brain Project chose the bee because of its remarkable ability to do so much with so little. Thus far, the BBC reports, the team has managed to put together a rudimentary olfactory (sensory) and vision system and has begun to test what they've created with robots—all of which is based on such science as decision theory and neuroscience modeling and technology such as parallel computing and of course, robotics.

In their latest effort, the team has inserted their digital bee brain into the workings of an ordinary quad-copter drone, allowing the drone to fly some missions without assistance. In one case it was able to fly down a corridor without running into anything, in another it was able to recognize a checkerboard pattern on a corridor wall and to use it as a form of navigation. The bee brain is not running the rotors directly just yet, but other teams in other parts of the world are busily attempting to create a drone that both looks and acts like a real bee—once that happens, the digital brain can be set inside and the drone/bee lookalike can be put through trials until it one day makes its way through cropland pollinating as a natural bee, perhaps taking over for the real thing as the biological kind continue to suffer colony collapse.


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'Green Brain' project to create an autonomous flying robot with a honey bee brain

More information: The Green Brain Project: greenbrain.group.shef.ac.uk/
BBC: www.bbc.com/news/technology-32216463

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Apr 14, 2015
Did They provide a Hungry Bee Food at the End of the Tunnel OR Not?
Did They provide a Female Bee at the end of the tunnel for a Male Bee in need of 1 OR Not?
Did They Heat up the part of the Tunnel they started at to force their departure OR Not?
MORE OF SIMILAR NATURE...I Mean!

Apr 14, 2015
And, in other news, the military hires a bunch of bee brains.

Apr 14, 2015
Did They provide a Hungry Bee Food at the End of the Tunnel OR Not?
Did They provide a Female Bee at the end of the tunnel for a Male Bee in need of 1 OR Not?
Did They Heat up the part of the Tunnel they started at to force their departure OR Not?
MORE OF SIMILAR NATURE...I Mean!

If they haven't done such things, they might have had only random data without any idea of the purpose of its flight through that tunnel, including halts if any; Otherwise, with such additions to the experiment, we can match the purpose to data in the future studies!

Apr 16, 2015
The article was to illuminate the progress in AUV's, not trying to replace bees.

Apr 20, 2015
Apart from fertilizing the Queen Bee, all the drone does is to hang around until it is killed by the other bees who have a more serious job to do...and we want to put this kind of mentality into a robot!

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