At the University of Washington developed the design a tiny “backpack”, which can be worn on bees. They do not prevent the insects to perform their usual tasks and do not give control over them. It’s just a container for a small set of sensors, but the concept can find wide application.

The idea is to use the natural properties of bees — endurance, hard work and the habit of flying at more or less regular routes to put them on the replacement man-made aircraft in several air missions. For example, the constant patrolling a certain area – in the centre is a hive of bees mounted equipment and a huge amount of air scouts sent flying. In a similar way to monitor the ecology of the region, where bees prefer to fly, and what avoid.

Guide the bee to the target area to spy on the enemy, will not work. But she can stay in the air for 7-8 hours without refueling, in contrast to man-made drones. We are talking about cars of the middle-range, to replace large UAV reconnaissance with powerful sensors insects makes no sense. In the end, you can get a new passive monitoring, invisible to the uninitiated.

In bee backpack fits all 107 milligrams of the goods, but because to put the camera or the GPS module will not work. As long as there are simple radio beacons to determine the coordinates of a bee by triangulating, thermometer, sensors, humidity and lighting, battery and memory by only 30 kilobytes. In the future, developers want to replace it with a transmitter, for signal transmission in online mode directly to the base station. And, perhaps, engineers will be able to construct a very light and small camera, to receive at least some pictures.

Source — University of Washington