Image credit – Anna Haldewang/SCAD

Bees aren’t just good for producing honey, but they are also essentially in helping to pollinate crops. Apparently they help to pollinate as much as $15 billion worth of crops in the US each year, and that’s a lot. However the population of bees is starting to dwindle, and to help solve this problem, a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia has come up with a hi-tech solution.

According to a report from CNN Tech, the student in question, Anna Haldewang, created a drone called Plan Bee. This is a tiny drone that has been designed to mimic the functions of bees, which is to help cross-pollinate crops. What it does is that it stores pollen inside of its body cavity, and when it reaches the flower it will release it to help with the cross-pollination process.

Haldewang says that she went through about 50 designs for the drone before landing on the one you see above. The idea wasn’t to mimic what a bee looks like and according to Haldewang, “When you flip it upside down, it looks like a flower,” which was her way to acknowledge the flower’s role in pollination.

There are no current plans to put the drone into action yet as Plan Bee is still in its early stages, but Haldewang says that there are plans to eventually release it in the market in about 2 years, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing these little drones hovering about flowers in the future.

Filed in Robots. Read more about drones and Science.

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