Drones can be efficiently used in the agricultural sector by flying across the extensive fields monitoring humidity, temperature, crop, and crop growth. But these electronic gadgets require more power source to travel far without recharging.
Recently, at the University of Washington, the team of engineers has developed a tiny sensing system that is carried by a bumblebee. As the insects are capable to fly on their own, the system just requires a miniature rechargeable battery that could remain functional for continuous seven hours of flight and then recharge wirelessly during the night, when the bees are in their hive.
Shyam Gollakota—senior author—stated that drones can travel for around 10 to 20 Minutes in one charge cycle, while the small bees can travel for hours carrying data.
The major problem of power is solved by using insects as drones. However, this condition has some different issues including less load carrying capacity and GPS receivers second, GPS receivers, which require high power for efficiently locating the drones’ position. So, the main objective of the researchers was to develop a complete package of sensors that could hustle-free set on an insect and help in detecting its location.
In earlier studies, small trackers that can track the location adhered as backpacks to bumblebees through superglue. Due to the high power consumption issue, the squad applied a method that does not require battery adherence to locate the bees. The scientists equipped multiple antennas throughout a precise area that spread signals from a base station. A receiver installed in an adhered backpack locates the exact position of the bee by using the signal strength and the angular difference between the base station and the bee.
Along with the receiver, the team equipped a series of small sensors in the backpack that could be able to monitor temperature, humidity and light intensity. Through which, the bees could gather data and record that information with respect to the specific location, and ultimately merge information related to the whole field.
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