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The National Science Foundation has awarded Harvard researchers $10 million to create a coordinated colony of robotic bees. The project is named Robobees. On the plus side, the robotic bees won’t be able to sting anyone, but on the downside they won’t be making any honey.
The Harvard team aims to use the robotic bees to research and develop technology for miniature robotics, aero-mechanical design, compact high-energy sources, sensors and electronic “nervous systems” that can react to their environments, communication methods and individual AI and collective hive mentality—pretty important stuff that will have wide-spread applications if successful.