Upload a Honey Bee’s brain into a flying Insectobot?

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PostSat Oct 06, 2012 8:44 pm » by 2020


Yeah! but what about the real ones that nature already provided??.......More shit!

New project aims to upload a honey bee’s brain into a flying insectobot by 2015

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Every once in a while, there's news which reminds us that we're living in the age of accelerating change. This is one of those times: A new project has been announced in which scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex are hoping to create the first accurate computer simulation of a honey bee brain — and then upload it into an autonomous flying robot.

This is obviously a huge win for science — but it could also save the world. The researchers hope a robotic insect could supplement or replace the shrinking population of honey bees that pollinate essential plant life.

Powerful and affordable

Now, while this might sound like some kind of outlandish futurist joke, there are some serious players — and money — involved. Called the "Green Brain Project," it was recently given £1 million (USD $1,614,700) by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), as well as hardware donations from the NVIDIA corporation.

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Specifically, NVIDIA will provide them with high-performance graphical processing units called GPU accelerators. This will allow the researchers to simulate aspects of a honey bee's brain by using massively paralleled desktop PCs. While this will certainly work to promote the NVIDIA brand, it will also allow the researchers to conduct their project inexpensively (supercomputer clusters aren't cheap).

And indeed, the researchers are going to need all the computational power they can get; it may appear that insects have simple minds — but their brains can be extremely complex.

In fact, the artificial honey bee may be the first of many robots we introduce into the environment to make up for the current era of widespread extinctions.


Oh by the way watch out for the stings.

Anyway you can read the rest about this crime against nature here: http://io9.com/5948202/new-project-aims-to-upload-a-honey-bees-brain-into-a-flying-insectobot-by-2015?tag=futurism


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PostFri Jun 13, 2014 8:40 pm » by 2020


Relevant guys... relevant,

From the Rev's Blog:

Let’s consider for a moment the honey bee and its anticipated replacement, the RoboBee. Let’s pay a visit to the frankenbee’s parents, Monsanto and DARPA.

The RoboBee is a mechanical bee in the design stage at the Microrobotics Lab, housed in a well-appointed building at Harvard University. The RoboBee project’s Intelligence Office declares that the robotic inventors are inspired by the bee. The RoboBee project’s website and press releases use the imagery of the golden bees that we remember from our love of the cuddly buzzy honey-maker.

But something is wrong with this enterprise. While the RoboBee’s press is nearly all positive, and open-faced students have posted euphoric YouTube reports of their robotic work, the whole thing looks quite different to the people of the beekeeping community, who can’t help but point out that the real life honey bees and bumble bees are plummeting toward extinction.

After one of our singing rituals at the laboratory, a public relations man named Paul followed us out proclaiming, “But we have nothing to do with colony collapse, and we’re sorry that the honey bee is dying…” And yet the RoboBee project’s top goal, as stated on their website, is to achieve mechanical pollination.


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http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/~mdw/private/case/proposals/robobees-2009.pdf

http://www.revbilly.com/chatter/blog/2014/05/beware-of-the-robobee-monsanto-and-darpa

By the way hello again.

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PostFri Jun 13, 2014 11:49 pm » by Thebluecanary


No, goddammit. More gross, unnatural scientific god-playing.

How about, everyone with some free time and about 300 bucks to spare, go out and get a fucking beehive and keep bees. It's not rocket science. The thing saving us from colony collapse right now is the fact that there are beekeepers, and that bees bless their hearts are easy to breed and propagate if you know what you're doing.

Or, you know, devote the time and money that they've spent on this little toy (which totally couldn't be adapted to spy on us all, at all) into figuring out options for commercial agriculture that don't involve franken-plants and neonicotinoid pesticides...
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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 1:20 pm » by DarkHeart


It would help if agriculture wasn't industrialised into monocultures (vast areas where only one type of crop is grown) & bees weren't driven around following the flowering periods of said monoculture.

If they want to make a tiny robot to do something why not pick the parasites off the bees in the hives ?

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http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/varroa_mite.htm
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PostSat Jun 14, 2014 8:17 pm » by Thebluecanary


DarkHeart wrote:It would help if agriculture wasn't industrialised into monocultures (vast areas where only one type of crop is grown) & bees weren't driven around following the flowering periods of said monoculture.

If they want to make a tiny robot to do something why not pick the parasites off the bees in the hives ?

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http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/varroa_mite.htm


That is true, agricultural monoculture is part of the problem, too. Though it really effects honey production more than anything else IF the monoculture crop isn't some terrifying GMO or completely doused with pesticides. I know beekeepers in rural areas who still keep bees for their own pollination needs, but who have seen real drops in the volume of the honey production of their hives because of what they call "dead zones" (Large portions of the area devoted to one crop, say corn, that does not produce adequate nectar for honey.) This just means, in theory, that you'll have to supplement with sugar water and probably have to feed your bees in the winter. It weakens the hives, and if you're feeding bees sugar water they aren't going to produce honey that anyone wants to eat or buy…

If you want bees for bees sake, it just means that you have to spend the money feeding them when they can't effectively feed themselves. It also means weaker hives, though, especially when they're bringing pesticides back into the hive. Suburban beekeepers actually have it better right now, because there is much more plant diversity in most suburban areas than there is out in the country, and less aggressive pesticide use.

Bees can tolerate a certain parasite "load" before they have to be treated. It depends on the health of the hive, what time of year it is, etc. Traveling with hives has been done for a long time, it isn't necessarily bad, though it has led to a much wider spread of certain parasites and diseases. The most important thing is that when you do treat for parasites (and parasites are one of the many causes of the syndrome that is Colony Collapse Disorder) you have to be very vigilant not to overtreat and to rotate different types of treatment so that the diseases/parasites are not evolving a resistance. Commercial beekeepers who travel with their bees to pollinate field crops tend to be more likely to overtreat because they can't afford to have their hives get a pest problem/disease on the road.

The bees don't have to become extinct. Beekeepers have to adapt, and commercial agriculture and the pesticide industry has to adapt, but we know what is going on and it is within our power to change it for the better. It pisses me off that they're even spending money on something like a synthetic bee, when they could be spending that money and time on ways to stop doing the things that are causing the bees to die off.
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