Robotic crop pollination awarded $1 million grant

Image of researcher with robotic arms.

(Washington State University) Developing robotic technology for crop pollination is the goal of a new project for Washington State University and Penn State University scientists. Funded by a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Washington State Department of Agriculture the project will involve looking at models for blossom development, working with camera and machine learning systems, and developing a robotic hand and arm to spread pollen.

As bee populations decline, can technology help fill the gap?

Image of Dropcopter pollination drone hovering.

(PBS NewsHour) With bees in decline, some see a business opportunity. A company called Dropcopter is trying to create a drone to spread pollen. Harvard University’s Wyss Institute is designing a miniature autonomous flying vehicle they call the Robobee that might be used for pollination. But some bee experts are skeptical of a technological fix and say we need to focus more on protecting the real live bees that are still here.