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Japan Invents Robotic Pollinators To Replace Real Bees

If you’ve watched Black Mirror, you know this will not end well.

If you’ve watched Black Mirror, you will know that creating robot bees isn’t exactly a good idea. It’s definitely something that will never end well.

That’s why it is pretty surprising and baffling that real world scientists have just come up with a technology extremely similar to bee-like pollinating drones. Talk about an example of life literally imitating art!

Japan has just created robotic drones that collect pollen from flowers – just like real bees do.

According to reports, the Japan-based National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have used horsehair, drones, and liquid ion gel to invent tiny robots that do the job of bees.

So how does it exactly work?

For starters, the drones fly into flowers just like a bee would do. Once the tiny tech makes it inside the flower, pollen is collected with the use of horsehair and ion gel. The pollen will then be transferred into another flower.

A Popular Mechanics report tells us that AIST chemist Eijio Miyako accidentally invented the sticky ion gel in 2007. Although Miyako initially considered the gel to be a failure, he eventually discovered that it can be quite useful for this new project.

Currently, Miyako leads the team behind the “Robo-bees” project.

The footage below shows us how one of the drones successfully pollinated flowers, Japanese lilies in this case, for the first time. Be sure not to blink or you just might miss it.

Watch this video and see the robotic insect in action:

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Why do we need robot bees in the first place?

Well statistics tell us that bees are dying at an alarming rate – and we are partly to blame for it.

TIME reported in 2014 that a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health has confirmed that pesticides containing neonicotinoids (NNIs)have caused Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

So while, yes, it does sound like robot bees are a terrific solution to the problem, we couldn’t help but feel a bit paranoid about them. Besides, the Black Mirror episode showed us that the robots were eventually hacked and started attacking humans.

Or maybe we’re just watching too much TV?

Sci/Tech

Newly Discovered Material Can Convert Heat, Light, and Movement to Electricity All at Once

This mineral may just be the next big thing in green energy!

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A new material capable of instantly converting various types of energy, including light and heat energy, into electricity all at once has just been found. Researchers from the University of Oulu in Finland have recently discovered a mineral with a structure akin to that of a perovskite crystal, a material that can turn multiple energy sources into electricity.

Perovskite come from a family of minerals known for possessing properties that allow conversion of at least two types of energy - not simultaneously, though, to usable power. Some types may be efficient in converting solar energy while others may harness energy from heat and motion. This means that to create a device that can efficiently transform multiple types of energy into electricity all at once, multiple materials must likewise be used.

Perovskite crystals are ferroelectric.

Source: Wikipedia

(Photo not KBNNO)...

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Sci/Tech

Japan is Set to Build the World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant

With the move towards green energy on its way, Japan has made a bold move by creating this giant floating power plant!

Tokyo Leasing Corporation, along with Kyocera Corporation, has announced plans to build the world's largest floating solar power plant. Kyocera is a Kyoto-based manufacturer of advanced ceramics, and has expanded to creating semiconductor packaging and electronic components, alongside solar power generation systems. Japan is the third country to create a floating solar power plant so far, with India and Australia as its predecessors.

The 13.7 megawatt power plant will be placed on the Yamakura Dam reservoir, and another 7.5 megawatt power plant will be build on Umenokifurukori reservoir. There has been no word on exactly how much this project will cost the government.

The Yamakura Dam floating solar power plant can generate enough electricity to sustain up to 4,700 households!

The power plant will contain 51,000 Kyocera solar modules and will take up 180,000 square meters of spaced. It's estimated that the power plant will generate up to 16,170 MWh of electricity annually. That amount of electricity will be enough to power up 4,700 typical household each year! This will be Kyocera's fifth floating solar power plant in Japan since they embarked on the project in 2014. They intend to sell the electricity generated from these solar farms to the Tokyo Electric Power Company....

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Sci/Tech

Nokia 3310, The World’s Most Reliable Phone, to be Relaunched This Year

Shut up and take my money!

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Amidst all the news about exploding mobile phones, we bring you some good news. Nokia 3310, the sturdiest and most reliable mobile phone ever invented, is set to have its comeback sometime this year - 17 years after it was first launched. The ultra-resilient phone is known for its seemingly infinite battery life and almost indestructible body.

The unit reincarnation, which is rumored to be sold for around $62, will be unveiled later this month at the Mobile World Congress. It is still unknown, though, if we'll see the same, exact 3310 model that we knew almost two decades ago, or if the manufacturer will add new features. However, based on the phone's description on Amazon, it seems that original features, including a calculator, a clock, and games we have so loved: Snake II, Pairs II, Bantumi, and Space Impact, will be retained.

Nokia 3310 - the "most resilient" phone ever.

The Snake Game was popularized by Nokia.

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