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.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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