Pollinating insects are very important in the globe and unfortunately in some areas, they still cannot thrive. Not to mention that due to pesticides and environmental conditions the number of these creatures is getting smaller slowly – but surely – thinning. To compensate for this shortcoming, experts are relying on robots.
A new study published in the journal iScience claims to have discovered an effective substitute for bees and butterflies: pollen-laden bubbles and was created directly by the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. “The soap bubble allows effective pollination and ensures that the quality of the fruit is the same as traditional manual pollination,” says senior study author Eijiro Miyako.”Compared to other types of pollination, the bubbles have innovative potential and unique properties, such as the effective and convenient delivery of pollen grains to the targeted flowers and the high flexibility to avoid damaging them.“.
How did they come to these curious conclusions? Scientists were working on a small drone capable of pollinating flowers, an experiment that proved unsuccessful since the robot it destroyed the flowers on which it rested. So, angered by the results, Miyako decided to take a break playing with his son with soap bubbles. Suddenly, a bubble hit the face of the baby boy and inspiration came from the scientist.
So the experts decided to use gods drones, controlled by GPS and armed with bubble cannons. An excellent result with a 90% success rate. There are some problems: bubbles could easily lose their effectiveness with a little rain or wind, not to mention that a small flying robot that moves two meters per second can be dangerous.