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AI Case Study

Researchers at Tomsk Polytechnic University Russia to launch a fleet of robot-bee prototypes suitable for greenhouses

With bee population recently declining and large colonies disappearing in what is known as a bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), scientists at Tomsk Polytechnic Russia are developing robot-bee prototypes for pollination. The fleet is due to be launched by 2019 and will be suitable for use in greenhouses only and thus most likely to benefit plants like strawberries that grow in greenhouses.


Public And Social Sector

Education And Academia

Project Overview

"Russian scientists at the Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) now offer an alternative: robo-bees. Researchers plan to launch the project in 2019, and the size of the prototypes will be at least seven times bigger than real bees, which means that they’ll be the size of a human palm.

According to Alexey Yakovlev, the head of TPU’s School of Engineering, artificial bees will be especially beneficial for strawberry and other plants that grow in greenhouses all year round.
"We plan to develop the robo-bees, algorithms and software, as well as optical systems and image recognition methods for accurate positioning,” Yakovlev said. Creating the first batch of 100 flying robots will cost around $1.4 million.
"For year-round pollination in large greenhouses farmers use bumblebees,” Yakovlev said “One bumblebee family costs about $500. In winter, they fly in infrared light, which simulates solar heat, but in spring the whole bumblebee family can escape. This, of course, is an economic loss.”
The robots, of course, will work non-stop and will never leave.
Artificial bees, however, will not solve the problem of the species facing possible extinction, said Yakovlev. “We will use robo-bees only in greenhouses, outside their natural habitat.”" (rbth)

Reported Results

"These artificial bees will be most beneficial for strawberries and other plants that grow in greenhouses."



R And D

Core Research And Development


"Most of the world’s produce which we take for granted are all thanks to insects like bees that help in the pollination of the flowers of plants. In recent years, however, large colonies of bees have been disappearing in what has been called a bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

According to the US Bee Informed Partnership, the country's beekeepers lost around a third of their colonies.
As both natural population and reared bee colony population decline, the farmers who depend on these bees face issues with their yield. This, in turn, increases food prices."



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