It really is amazing to me what we can learn from "lower life forms." I was also skeptical but according to one web page (benefits-of-honey.com): The bee's brain is oval in shape and only about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has remarkable capacity to learn and remember things and is able to make complex calculations on distance travelled and foraging efficiency.
And remember - these little guys aren't supposed to be able to fly if you calculate their wingspan to body mass ratio - so they obviously know something we don't!
I always assumed the next great phase of industrialization is genetically engineering machines (based on existing plants/animals) that you would grow with seeds like a crop (and power with biomatter) rather than manufacture in a factory and power on carbon derived energy.
Insects are a perfect starting point, since they are simple enough for us to start understanding their operation and they are already autonomous. This is the perfect first step in this path. Only need to know enough about their operation to replace their original "programming" with ours. Insects are hardly "smart", but they are more than capable of carrying out simple tasks.
Of course, this is also how every sci-fi horror movie starts out.
Honey bees are GREAT models for AI for autonomous flight. Bees explore independently, looking for the best food source. When they come back to the hive, they "dance" to precisely communicate the best path to the abundance. It's fascinating and very complex.
If drones could work together, communicating like bees, they could be more effective and used in benign applications.
Hard to think that the tiny brain of a honey bee could hold so much promise in terms of directing autonomous flight. I would think studying the characteristics of migrating birds would have more impact on AI advances in this area.
Earlier this year paralyzed IndyCar drive Sam Schmidt did the seemingly impossible -- opening the qualifying rounds at Indy by driving a modified Corvette C7 Stingray around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Wearables are changing the way we see ourselves. With onboard sensors that have access to our bodies, we are starting to know our physical selves like never before, quantifying our activity, our heart rate, breathing, and even our muscle effort.
Last week, the bill for reforming chemical regulation, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, passed the House. If it or a similar bill becomes law, the effects on cost and availability of adhesives and plastics incorporating these substances are not yet clear.
This year, Design News is getting a head start on the Fourth of July celebration. In honor of our country and its legacy of engineering innovation -- in all of its forms -- we are taking you on an alphabetical tour through all 50 states to showcase interesting engineering breakthroughs and historically significant events.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.