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back to article Harvard boffins cause buzz with robot bee

Instead of building a robot, why not print it? That’s more-or-less the approach demonstrated by Harvard engineers with an ingenious and attention-grabbing miniature robot bee. The process, which allows fixed and flexible joints to be created by layering materials in fabrication rather than assembling them, and allowing them to …

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Better watch out

We all know what happened last time someone colonised America.

I for one ... Microbee overlords etcetera

Etc.

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Dammit

I was hanging out for footage of the thing in flight at the end of that video

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Boffin

Here's a link to a testflight video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgR-mH6X5VU

The Dancing Bear effect applies.

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Thumb Up

This stuff is totally awesome.

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Is there a chance El Reg commentards get at least a Robo Ms Bee back?

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Pint

XXXX

My Sheila can deal with these pests!

http://www.aussiefoodshop.com/i/Main%20folder2/oz_swat-2.jpg

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Autofac

+1 for the PKD ref.

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Childcatcher

Stanislaw Lem's "Upside Down Evolution" in Realtime

Now with additional Steampunky Brass elements!

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Does the voice-over guy...

...have the world's most boring voice?

couldn't they get Troy Maclure?

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FAIL

SLLLOOOOOOOOOOO......OOOOOOWWWWW!!!!

This was on CNET a week ago.

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Brilliant...

Been following this technology - excellent progress.

However if you think you have privacy problems now wait until the world is swarming with fly-sized flying cameras.

On a lighter note - why do Americans pronounce "solder" as "soder"?

Very disconcerting...

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Coat

Eh, no...

Actually we pronounce "solder" as "sodder."

I'll buzz off now...

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Re: Brilliant...

Why do they pronounce "mirror" as "mrrrr", that girl on Mythbusters said it about 5 times in a row a few days ago, really annoying. Or President Bush saying "tourists" when he was talking about Terrorists!

I dont mind them saying aluminum or "fall" for autumn and lots of others as they were the original English words, but when they mangle the pronunciation of words that are used on both sides of the pond - annoying.

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They are the vanguard of our perfection...

... (or perhaps the vanguard of the vanguard)

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Terminator

"The larger aim ... is to create bio... robots that can 'fly and behave autonomously as a colony'.”

Three words: Michael Crichton's "Prey."

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Headmaster

"Prey" is one word!

Summarizing it with "Abysmally Bad Writing" gives us three.

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Headmaster

Re: "Prey" is one word!

Well, "Michael" and "Crichton's" (the possessive form of "Crichton") may be -- in the vernacular of my fifth-grade English teacher -- "proper names," but they *are* words, nonetheless... :-)

Point taken regarding the "Abysmally Bad Writing," though. I have to admit that even though I am a Crichton fan, "Prey" did manage to cross the lower borders of absurdity on a fairly regular basis...

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Headmaster

I know I'm not supposed to point it out...

...but there's such a delicious reflexiveness to the phrase "and hasn’t et seen a failure"

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FAIL

Robot

Not a robot.

However, +1 for the interesting technology.

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Anonymous Coward

Robots building robots...and no mention of ROTM?

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Asimov wrote this a long time ago

Asimov had a short story in which robot bees were created to take on the job of pollination after ecological failure killed off most of the real insects doing the job.

Go figure.

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Boffin

Re: Asimov wrote this a long time ago

Yes, good point, we can build robots all we want but they must have a purpose i.e. be driven to an objective to be truly autonomous.

In nature bees act for the benefit of the colony, ultimately to perpetuate the species. A side effect of their existence is interaction with other species in a carefully balanced ecosystem, but they don't know this. All they know is 'get nectar, protect colony', and then they just get on with it without any other intervention.

How will be imbue 'purpose' into robo-bees?

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Unhappy

Not impressed....

I was hanging on to see it sting someone at a barbecue.

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Headmaster

Re: Not impressed....

You're thinking of wasps. Bees wouldn't be interested in barbecues, being vegetarians (nectar, pollen, propolis - all plant products). Wasps on the other hand are second hand carnivores, as they feed their larvae meat, which in turn secrete sugar syrup which the adults use as their energy source. Also wasps use their sting to hunt, so they are naturally more aggressive, and able to sting without dying (bee stings are barbed, and stinging pulls their guts out, while wasp stings are smooth, so it can fly away and come back for another go later)...

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Terminator

Life Imitating Art

I'm reminded of Simon Bovey's Afternoon Play Hivemind. Several years into the future, the extinction of the bee in Britain has meant that people need to manually pollinate crops until some company comes up with an artificial bee.

All is well, until a number of dead mice and birds are found in that field...

Worth a listen if you can track down a copy.

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Reminds me of that little fly robot out of Lexx

And about half as smart too.

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Terminator

"The larger aim of the Harvard project, supported by the NSF, the Wyss Institute and the US Army Research Laboratory, is to create bio-inspired robots that can “fly and behave autonomously as a colony”

WHY!? Just why....

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Because they can?

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