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Bees Used As Subjects for Technological Research

September 26,2010 by: admin

The world of Engineering and Science has made a breakthrough that would help Engineers build small robots and tiny flying vehicles. And the credit goes to the bees.

Bees have tiny brains but they have remarkable navigation abilities because of their vision. Inspired with these tiny creatures, researchers and scientists have finally created a light-weight imaging system that imitates the field of view of a honeybee.

The research which was published in Bioinspiration and Biommetics, by the IOP Publishing dated August 6. The research details how the research team has built an artificial bee eye consisting of a complete functional camera, to illustrate the bee’s complex sensing, navigational and processing skills. The research team came from Bielefield University particularly, the Center of Excellence “Cognitive Interaction Technology” in Germany.

The artificial eye consists of a light-weight mirror-lens combined component which is attached to a video camera that has a USB feature. The eye manages can successfully achieve a field of vision similar to that of a honeybee. The bee eye camera has permitted the researchers to obtain unique images from the insect’s point of view.

The researchers expect to contain UV to fully mirror a bee’s color vision which is the primary way for bees to recognize flowers and for polarization vision – what bees use for orientation. They also wish to integrate models of the next neural processing stages.

As stated in the published research, that in spite of the explained limitations of model, the researchers are confident that it will serve many purpose such as for the recreation of bee-like agents in virtual atmospheres.

Another similar research, which took place earlier in June, researchers from the University of Adelaide have determined how insects consider how fast moving objects accelerate. Though they have tiny brains, bees possess brain cells that have more features that can calculate the right timing or control in touching a flower. This skill takes place only in settings which are natural.

The lead author of David O’Carroll, from the international journal called Current Biology, said that insects have well recognized to observing visual motion, which is very the same to humans. He also said that it was recently incomprehensible how a very small brain of an insect could utilize numerous brain pathways to appraise motion.

O’Caroll, also an associate professor, teamed with Phd student Paul Barnett, studying physiology in University of Adelaine, and Karin Nördstrom, a Physiology Postdoctoral colleague, to write a paper regarding this discovery. Their research is mainly focused on the brain’s ability to make sense with the environment through the eyes by using the visual system of an insect as the basic model.

O’Carroll said that the insects are fit for the research because of their visual system consists at most 30% of their bodies which beats most animals.

Their research also aims to use the bee vision in anticipation of developing artificial eyes with super abilities in robots.


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