Researchers Use Bees Wearing Tiny Backpacks to Create IoT

Researchers at the University of Washington have made a teeny tiny backpack for bees equipped with a wireless sensors, which when they buzz around make a living Internet of Things.

“Drones can fly for maybe 10 or 20 minutes before they need to charge again, whereas our bees can collect data for hours,” said senior author Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor in the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “We showed for the first time that it’s possible to actually do all this computation and sensing using insects in lieu of drones.”

The bee sensors are powered by a tiny battery, which can be recharged at night when the bees return to the hive.

The formal research was presented on December 11 at the ACM MobiCom 2019. The hope is that the breakthrough will help farming and agriculture business as well as other research.


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