We recently reported that scientists were studying the behaviour of bumble bees in discerning the briefest route to the flowers with nectar. The bees were able to detect the odour from a distance and would then calculate the briefest path to all the flowers with nectars, exhibiting extra-ordinary mathematical intelligence in doing so.
Apparently along similar lines, another group of scientists at University of Sheffield and University of Sussex are striving to create a robot which will be equipped with the same capabilities of sense and smell as a real honey bee. The scientists are aiming to simulate, as closely as possible, a honey bee brain that would then be fitted into this nifty robot.
The project is called ‘Green Brain’ and aims to help a robot perform complex tasks despite its tiny size. This honey bee robot would be as effective as a real bee in discerning the sources of different kinds of smells and in finding these sources.
Such a skill-set would enable the robot to perform a number of functions. For instance, the robot can fly into areas struck with disaster to help the rescue teams in locating survivors or enable a closer monitoring of the environmental conditions.
According to the leader of the team from University of Sussex, Dr. Thomas Nowotny, “Using NVIDIA’s massively parallel GPU accelerators for brain models is an important goal of the project as they allow us to build faster models than ever before. We expect that in many areas of science this technology will eventually replace the classic supercomputers we use today.”