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B-Droid – a robot that's busy as a bee

Researchers from the Warsaw University of Technology have been working on an automated pollination system for 4 years now. First a mobile version with wheels, and now the flying B-Droid has been garnering considerable interest not only in Poland. That's hardly surprising, as our scientists have developed software for devices that can effectively help bees in their core, from our point of view, activity – pollination.

For a number of years, there have been mass deaths of bees worldwide. Environmental pollution, fungi, viruses or parasites might be to blame. Also, bees don't travel long distances well. In the United States they are transported hundreds of kilometres and, after several days of pollination, they die of fatigue. The effects of such a situation may be direr than we all think. It's estimated that a third of all agricultural crops and approximately 90% of plants growing in the wild require pollination, and bees are the main pollinators. Scientists from the Warsaw University of Technology have decided to rise to the challenge and build a robot for pollinating.

The team is led by Rafał Dalewski Ph.D.(Eng) from the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering. B-Droid has been designed under the “Autonomous device for mechanical plant pollination” [Autonomiczny układ do mechanicznego zapylania roślin] project financed by the LIDER programme. The scientists received over PLN 1 million in financial support for their research.

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WUT'S researchers work on a range of scientific topics which are explored in different areas and on a different scale. Often the outcome of these helps with the development of new technologies or everyday products to come into being.

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