robot bee

Remember when I was freaking out over the concept of cyborg combat wasps?

Well, I’ve got something even more frightening here–apparently, the crew out at Harvard are neck deep in developing an entire colony of robot bees.

No biological material involved here, folks, just an entirely artificial, entirely mechanical robot bee.  The National Science Foundation handed over a whopping ten million dollars for Harvard to start building the ersatz honeymakers.  The bees will have realistic and flight-capable flapping wings, optical flow sensors to avoid collisions and for navigation, plus “pollination and docking appendages” as well as an as-yet-unknown power source.

Considering that honeybees have been going missing for most of the last couple years, a backup source of honeybees might not be a terrible idea.  But I find it vaguely horrifying all the same that we’re attempting to replicate nature with hardware.  Something just…wrong…about that.