robotic bees that terrify viewers in the third season Black mirror may have a correlation in the real world. The neuroscientist’s plan, yes, is a little different from the show’s plan. Instead of creating small automata with the characteristics of these insects, he suggests studying their brains so that robotics can improve their procedures.
Have you noticed, for example, that bees are multitasking? At the same time, they balance their flight, avoid predators, and evaluate which flowers are most favorable for their pollinating work. In a study published in the journal electronic lifeMacquarie University neuroscientist Andrew Barron explained that speed and efficiency are critical for these insects. Therefore, parallelism with robotics is not far-fetched.
“Decision making is at the heart of cognition. It is the result of evaluating possible outcomes, and animal life is full of decisions. A honey bee has a smaller brain than a sesame seed. However, he can make decisions faster and more accurately than we can,” Barron said, noting that “a robot programmed to do the work of one of them would need the support of a supercomputer.“.
The approach is to study the millions of years of evolution that came together in design bee brain. Then about how to transfer this training to the development of robots so that they get more autonomy.
Robotic bees or “robot bees”?
An Australian university team trained 20 bees to recognize flowers of different colors, each with different compounds, both sweet and bitter. With 40 hours of footage, they determined how much time they needed to make decisions.
“If the bees were confident that there was food on the flower, they would quickly decide to land on it, on average it would take 0.6 seconds,” said Hadi Maboudi, study co-author and computational neuroethologist at the University of Sheffield in England. . “If they were sure that the flower would not have food, they would have made a decision just as quickly,” he added. A longer delay (1.4 seconds on average) was recorded when they weren’t sure about the connection in each flower.
In the next step, the researchers developed computational model for reproducing decision making by bees. In the process, they realized that these insects are capable of making complex decisions with minimal neural circuitry.
“We are looking into how they gather information so quickly. We believe that they use their movements in flight to improve their visual system and detection. one of the best colors,” said James Marshall, another researcher involved in the study. He does not improvise in this area: for many years he has been working on the study of algorithms that mimic the behavior of insects.
As it was said the goal is not to create robotic bees, but for machines to learn from insects. After all, we are faced with a rethinking of the fact that “art imitates nature.” Now technology. An interest that is not trivial as artificial intelligence systems emulate human capabilities with increasing efficiency. Apparently, we are not the only source of inspiration.
Source: Hiper Textual