February 27th, 2017
Episode 399 of 457 episodes
Honeybees' role in pollination enables the production of at least 90 commercially grown crops, including apples, blueberries, melons and broccoli, but recently a dwindling bee population has led to concerns for the stability of this eco system. Industrial design major Anna Haldewang wanted more people to understand the significance of bees to human life -- so she created what's essentially a "bee drone" to be a functional teaching tool that couples technology and design. Plan Bee is a personal robotic bee (controlled by a smart device) designed to mimic how bees pollinate flowers and crops. Similar to how bees transfer pollen from one flower to another, the drone sucks in pollen from a plant and expels it onto other flowers to enable cross-pollination. Anthony and Jeff discuss robot bees and whether this might be the solution the planet is hoping for.
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