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ROBOtic Replicants for Optimizing the Yield by Augmenting Living Ecosystems

Descripción del proyecto

Robots al rescate de la abeja reina

Las abejas, los polinizadores más eficaces del mundo, desempeñan un papel muy importante en todos los aspectos del ecosistema. Por tanto, cualquier disminución de las poblaciones de abejas podría suponer una amenaza para la agricultura mundial. En este contexto, el proyecto financiado con fondos europeos RoboRoyale está desarrollando y combinando tecnologías microrrobóticas, biológicas y de aprendizaje automático en un sistema que puede apoyar el bienestar de la reina de las abejas melíferas, responsable del éxito reproductor y la eficacia de una colonia. En concreto, el sistema microrrobótico funcionará en el entorno de la reina. Por ejemplo, este sistema multirrobot sustituirá a las «abejas de la corte» que se encargan de la alimentación, el aseo y la limpieza de la reina, así como de facilitar la transferencia de feromonas de la reina a las obreras.

Objetivo

Earth's ecosystems are in a rapid decline of species diversity and abundance. One of the most affected groups is honeybees, a keystone species that play a key role in pollination and hence crucial for ecosystem stability. The goal of the RoboRoyale project is to develop and combine micro-robotic, biological, and machine learning technologies into a system that can support the well-being of the honeybee queen, the single key individual responsible for the reproductive success and efficiency of the colony. The core of the project is the development of a micro-robotic system, designed to operate around the queen. This multi-robot system will replace the “court bees” that are in charge of feeding, grooming and cleaning of the queen as well as the facilitation of pheromone transfer from the queen to the workers. Through a combination of machine learning, behavioral modeling and advanced control methods, our system will gradually learn how to groom the queen in order to regulate her egg-laying activity and pheromone production to optimize the hive’s macroscopic variables (e.g. brood production) in a scientifically and ecologically informed way. The developed bio-hybrid system will serve as an important scientific tool to study honeybee biology, to support the honeybee colony health and efficiency, and to provide a stabilizing factor on the surrounding ecosystem. Moreover, showing that one can achieve a positive impact on large scale ecosystems by using microrobots to affect one single living organism, will bring radical new insights into novel possibilities of bio-hybrid technology. Although risky, the potential impact of the project will lead to foundational scientific and biotechnological approaches to synthesize symbiotic super-organisms of cooperating robots and animals. The interdisciplinary nature of the project will pave the way towards microscopic bio-compatible sensors and actuators needed to realize game-changing bio-medical, robotic and automotive systems.

Convocatoria de propuestas

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2020

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Convocatoria de subcontratación

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020-01

Régimen de financiación

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinador

UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM
Aportación neta de la UEn
€ 1 085 269,00
Dirección
Stockton road the palatine centre
DH1 3LE Durham
Reino Unido

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Región
North East (England) Tees Valley and Durham Durham CC
Tipo de actividad
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Enlaces
Otras fuentes de financiación
€ 0,00

Participantes (4)