Bees are an important part of the complex ecosystem that is nature. As such, it’s extremely important that we preserve the remaining honey bee populations that are constantly under attack by various threats like parasites. That’s why science is working furiously to preserve bees by uploading their brains into robots.
io9 reports that researchers at the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex are working on a project that’s just crazy enough to work. They’re going to create a simulation of a honey bee brain that can emulate the bee’s vision and sense of smell. Both are integral to a bee’s ability to find and pollinate flowers.
So how are the researchers going to emulate the inner workings of a bee’s brain? A $1.6 million grant and a lot of GPUs from Nvidia. The GPUs will be the most important part of the project as they will be able to cost effectively simulate a bee’s brain. The only other solution would be a costly supercomputer.
After all the money and research, the researchers will be hopefully left with a sentient bee robot, or beebot. In essence, science will have created a primitive robot that is able to perform basic tasks – like identifying flowers and collecting pollen – without the need for instructions. It would be a huge step forward in robotics and artificial intelligence.
Of course, science tends to forget the larger questions when conducting such research. What will happen when the bee becomes angry and attacks people? Unlike a honey bee, a robot bee wouldn’t die when it stings a person. It could keep on stinging until we were all dead, or it would just make humanity reenact its favorite Nicholas Cage scene:[Image Source]