bee Researchers copying bee brains to make smarter robots

Researchers at the University of Sheffield and Sussex in the UK are attempting to replicate the brains of honey bees in efforts to make robots act more intelligently.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield and Sussex in the UK are attempting to replicate the brains of honey bees in efforts to make robots act more intelligently.

 
The project, funded by £1 million, will involve making a working model of the part of a bee's brain that helps it understand what it sees and smells. This will then be simulated in robots for more realistic and independent behaviour.
 
The scientist leading the research, Dr. James Marshall, said that simulating a brain is one of the major challenges of artificial intelligence, and that so far most attempts have focused on the more complex brains of humans, monkeys and mice.
 
bee Researchers copying bee brains to make smarter robots
 
The new focus on “simpler” forms of life like bees could provide the breakthrough in AI needed for the next wave of smart robots, who could be sent on search and rescue missions or could work on farms pollinating crops.
 
Honey bees have an uncanny ability to find their way back to the hive, even when it is extremely far away, and this sensory awareness, which the scientists believe involves noting the position of the sun, could help with the pathing of robots around large territory.
 
Once the bee brains have been mapped and models created, a number of powerful graphics cards will be used to simulate the brain. The aim then is to get to a stage where the robot can actually go beyond fulfilling pre-programmed objectives and make independent decisions based on what it senses in its environment.
 
Source: BBC
Image Credit: Maciej Czyzewski