Computer engineers study the mathematics of how to optimize complex systems. In one example, they face a logistics challenge known as the “travelling salesman problem:” how can a hypothetical salesperson visit every city on their route in the shortest distance?

The algorithms developed to answer these sorts of questions are useful in many situations, such as reducing the costs of and pollution from a fleet of delivery trucks. But when engineers tried to optimize traffic on the internet, they found their methods wanting. […]

Honeybees don’t study mathematics, but the demands of evolution reward those colonies that succeed in optimizing their resources. Fortunately, in the strange tale of how honeybees make the internet work, the scientists were smart enough to see that the honeybees knew better than they did.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.treehugger.com

“What’s better than a robot inspired by bees? A robot inspired by bees that can swim.Researchers led by a team at Harvard University have developed a tiny, 175-milligram (about two feathers) device with insect-inspired wings that can both flap and rotate, allowing it to either fly above the ground or swim in shallow waters and easily transition between the two.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: qz.com

“New research on how bees perceive colour could be put to good use in our digital cameras, meaning photos shot by drones or phones would look more natural than ever. It’s all to do with colour constancy, the way that bees (and humans) can tell a flower is red no matter what the colour or quality of the light – a mental trick that the digital cameras of today really struggle with.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.sciencealert.com

“This robotic bee drone prototype gives bees a hand in pollinating flowers and could be a solution to the dwindling bee population. […] Part-awareness rising project, part-potential solution to a very real problem, Plan Bee is a self sustainable drone that stimulates the growth of plants by cross-pollination. The drone sucks pollen through tiny holes located underneath and then pushes it back out through the vents on top. As the drone flies over the field, the pollen will fall on the flowers nearby. The device is also equipped with a UV camera to locate the flowers.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.psfk.com