Some time ago I blogged about the creation of small robots designed to look like honey bees. At the time, I speculated on the reasons for the development of this latest gadget in Mr. Globaloney's arsenal of gadgets: colony collapse disorder, i.e., the dramatic drop of pollinator insects that form a crucial link in the food chain. The phenomenon first began to be noticed about two and a half decades ago, though there was no consensus as to why it was occurring. Eventually, however, someone made the link to GMOs and the special herbicides and pesticides developed to be used in conjunction with them. The end result was "who needs bees" when you can simply develop robotic substitutes.
At the time I wrote that blog, I speculated that the "robobee platform" was being developed to serve several functions, and that it would not be long before we saw the admission of this.
Well, Mr. H.B. sent along this article this week, and it appears that Robobee 2.0 has already been prototyped:
As the article notes, not only can the platform be used for espionage, but could cause environmental problems as well:
At this stage, the biggest limitation of RoboBee is that it can’t fly right after emerging from water due to the lack of on-board sensors and a restricted motion-tracking system. Yet the team hopes to improve on this in the future. One other thing RoboBee has going for it is that it’s a thousand times lighter than any past aerial-to-aquatic robot — meaning that it could potentially be utilized for even more real-life applications, such as environmental monitoring and search-and-rescue operations.
However, this also means that RoboBee could very well be an effective spy. As was brought up in a 2016 article on the Daily Mail, this tiny robot can land on and rest on just about any surface with nothing more than an electrode patch and foam mount. Essentially, RoboBee would be using static electricity to stick to walls, an action that requires way less power than flying. So a RoboBee that has settled comfortably on your ceiling is one that could stay there for long periods of time.
Furthermore, at its current size, RoboBee could easily be mistaken for an actual bee struggling to get out of water. This could then present an easy opportunity for a free meal to the likes of woodpeckers, shrikes, crab spiders, beewolves, and frogs — all animals known to prey on bees. But instead of getting a quick meal, they risk mouthfuls of potentially deadly electronics and hardware.
The article ends by sounding a note of "cautious optimism" about the technology.
How can one be optimistic, even if only "cautiously", about the development of a technology that could bring about even more environmental havoc, much less take the form of a pesky insect that flies through your open doors as you're hauling in groceries from your day at the market, then perches in some out-of-the-way corner of your house, and proceeds to spy on you?
And watch, even though it's your house and your privacy that's being invaded, Mr. Globaloney will come up with some lame justification to pass laws and regulations that prohibit you from taking out the flyswatter and squashing the interloper. This could range the whole spectrum from "tampering with a protected species" to "causing environmental harm" to "destruction of private property." And if "tampering with a protected species" sounds a bit farfetched, don't forget that the lunatic technocrats of the European Union are already discussing granting the status of "personhood" to robots, even as they deny it to the innocent unborn.
There's only one bit of sunshine in the development as far as I'm concerned, and that is that these people are revealing themselves for what they always were: anti-human, and now, anti-nature.
Next, we'll have robo-honey that will be three-d printed according to the finest laboratory specifications...
See you on the flip side...