Earlier this year, we brought you the story of a simulated worm brain that had been uploaded into a LEGO robot, and now it seems that The Green Brain Project is taking that idea to the next level, implanting a recreation of a bee’s brain into a robotic flying drone.
The Green Brain Project approaches artificial intelligence from an environmental perspective, using its expertise to find new ways of using AI to solve threats to humanity, specifically the declining honey bee population. As the Green Brain Project puts it on its website:
“The ‘Green Brain Project’ combines computational neuroscience modelling, learning and decision theory, modern parallel computing methods, and robotics with data from state-of-the-art neurobiological experiments on cognition in the honeybee Apis mellifera. These various methodologies are used to build and deploy a modular model of the honeybee brain describing detection, classification, and learning in the olfactory and optic pathways as well as multi-sensory integration across these sensory modalities.”
The deceptively complex bee brain was digitally cloned – a neuromimetic model, as The Green Brain Project calls it – and inserted into a modified off-the-shelf quadcopter drone. When activated, the bee brain is able to pilot the drone without assistance, using its on-board camera to navigate its surroundings.
Though the bee brain does not yet have full control over the rotors yet – they default to turning when the drone is turned on – teams across the world are working on a version that can not only choose when to fly, but can be implanted into a tiny bee-like body so, should the world’s bee colonies collapse as has been predicted by some environmentalists, these apidae cyborgs could conceivably take their place, maintaining necessary flower pollination.
Thank you PhysOrg for providing us with this information.