Technology Page 71

A research robotics team at Harvard University has put together the results of 12 years of research and they have successfully designed Robobees. The artificial muscles on these “bees” enable them to beat their wings 120 times per second! Inspired by the biology of a fly, scientists’ primary focus was on getting their design airborne which was achieved in 2007. Further research and development enabled them to give these Robobees the ability to fly forward.

Great achievement that this has been, we must now discuss what changes this will bring to our lives. The first use of such invention that comes to mind is, sadly, military use. These small robots can fly in and out of highly protected zones to gather information. Their ability to gather data and information can be used for other purposes as well. In environments unfriendly to human-being, these “Bees” will prove themselves to be incredibly useful.

Mounting the tiniest of cameras on these Robobees can also give us a much better and more accurate insight into the lives of small animals, say, bees themselves or other species that are still rather unknown to us humans.

These artificial bees may also come in handy in saving our crop industry. They can be used to help with the pollination and hence result in a better reproduction of plants. Although this may not be the ultimate solution, it will buy scientists a good few years to work on another alternative to save the Earth’s plant life.