Robot Pollinators Assemble!

July 21, 2023
July 21, 2023 Hal Jordan

Robot Pollinators Assemble!

Vertical farming is a method of growing plants indoors in stacked layers, using artificial lights and artificial intelligence. This method is touted as a way to bring fresh produce to local markets in a climate-friendly way. However, vertical farms have not yet lived up to their promise.

The world’s first commercial vertical farm opened in Singapore in 2012. Since then, many other businesses have cropped up, with major players such as Infarm and AeroFarms securing hundreds of millions in funding. These companies claim that vertical farms could tackle global food insecurity, without the massive land and water footprint of conventional operations.

However, there are some challenges facing vertical farming. One challenge is the high cost of energy. Vertical farms require a lot of electricity to power the lights and other equipment. This cost has become even more prohibitive in recent months due to rising energy prices.

Another challenge is the limited range of crops that can be grown in vertical farms. Most vertical farms currently only grow greens such as lettuce and herbs. This is because these crops are relatively easy to grow indoors and require less water. However, to truly tackle food insecurity, vertical farms need to be able to grow a wider variety of crops.

One way to address this challenge is to use robotic pollinators. Pollinators are essential for the production of many crops, but they can be difficult to work with in vertical farms. Domesticated honeybees, one of the most popular pollinators for commercial growers, have trouble navigating under artificial light. Pollinating by hand is also extremely time-consuming and expensive.

Researchers have been working on robotic pollinators for more than a decade. These robots are designed to mimic the movements of bees and bats, and they can be programmed to pollinate specific crops. However, robotic pollinators are still in the early stages of development, and it is not yet clear when they will be widely available.

Despite the challenges, vertical farming has the potential to be a valuable tool for addressing food insecurity. However, more research and development is needed to overcome the current challenges. If these challenges can be met, vertical farming could play a significant role in feeding the world’s growing population in a sustainable way.

Bots have been used in agriculture for decades, but their use has been limited to tasks such as harvesting and weeding. In recent years, however, there has been a growing interest in using robots to pollinate crops.

Pollination is essential for the production of many fruits and vegetables. However, the number of wild pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, has been declining in recent years. This has led to a need for alternative ways to pollinate crops.

Robotic pollinators are one potential solution. These robots can be programmed to mimic the movements of bees and other pollinators. They can also be equipped with sensors that allow them to identify flowers that are ready to be pollinated.

There are a number of companies that are developing robotic pollinators. One company, Polybee, uses drones to pollinate crops. The drones are equipped with cameras that allow them to identify flowers that are ready to be pollinated. The drones then vibrate the flowers, which helps to release pollen.

Another company, Arugga, has developed a ground robot that pollinates crops. The robot moves between rows of plants and blasts pulses of air to prompt pollination. The process is mostly autonomous, but human operators are still needed to move the robot between rows.

The use of robotic pollinators is still in its early stages. However, there is a growing interest in this technology. As the technology continues to develop, robotic pollinators could become a more common sight in agricultural fields.

Robotic pollinators could offer several advantages for vertical farms. For one, they could reduce the risk of plant infections. Bees can spread diseases that can damage crops, and robotic pollinators would not be able to do this. Additionally, robotic pollinators would not be affected by unpredictable weather or temperatures, which can make it difficult for bees to pollinate crops.

Another advantage of robotic pollinators is that they could be used to pollinate a wider variety of plants. Bees are not able to pollinate all types of plants, but robotic pollinators could be programmed to pollinate any type of plant. This would allow vertical farms to grow a wider variety of crops.

However, there are also some challenges that need to be overcome before robotic pollinators can be widely used in vertical farms. One challenge is that robotic pollinators need to be able to work gently so that they do not damage the flowers. Another challenge is that robotic pollinators need to be able to pollinate a large number of plants in a short amount of time.

Despite these challenges, there is a lot of potential for robotic pollinators in vertical farms. As the technology continues to develop, robotic pollinators could become a more common sight in vertical farms.

In addition to vertical farms, robotic pollinators could also be used in other settings, such as greenhouses and space. In greenhouses, robotic pollinators could help to increase crop yields and reduce the risk of plant diseases. In space, robotic pollinators could be used to pollinate crops that are grown on space stations or other off-world habitats.

The future of robotic pollinators is still uncertain, but there is a lot of potential for this technology. As the technology continues to develop, robotic pollinators could become a more common sight in a variety of settings.


NewBees – Robotic Pollinator – YouTube, Discover Agriculture

Robotic Bees As Pollinators of the Future: How Can Bots Support Vertical and Extraterrestrial Farms? – The Science Times

Robotic Bees Could Support Vertical Farms Today and Astronauts Tomorrow – Scientific American


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22 July
1925Joseph Sargent is born.
1934Louise Fletcher is born.
2016Star Trek Beyond premieres in the United States, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Finland, India, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, the UK, and Vietnam.

23 July
1938Ronny Cox is born.
1965 – Fifth day of filming on TOS: “Where No Man Has Gone Before“. During shooting a swarm of wasps appears on the set, causing panic among the cast and crew, and stinging William Shatner and Sally Kellerman.
1982Paul Wesley is born.

24 July
1942Chris Sarandon is born.
1991Penelope Mitchell is born.
2022David Warner dies.

25 July
1938Pilar Seurat is born.
1952John Nowak is born.
1955Iman is born.
2008Randy Pausch dies.

26 July
1944Celeste Yarnall is born.
1957Nana Visitor is born.
1960Boris Krutonog is born.
1991Richard Tatro dies.

27 July
1967 – The sale of Desilu Studios to Gulf+Western is finalized. Lucille Ball leaves the very same day, never to return, as her former company is absorbed into Paramount Television under which flag Star Trek is from now on produced.

28 July
1939Dennis Tracy is born.
1965 – Eighth and final day of filming on TOS: “Where No Man Has Gone Before“. Kirk and Mitchell‘s confrontation on Delta Vega is filmed today. Lucille Ball organizes a big wrap party at the studio after the filming ends.
2004Eugene Roche dies.


The United Federation Starfleet Blog is written by Fleet Captain Hal Jordan and is published every Friday. Join in the discussion! Engage with us on Discord at:


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