Anna Haldewang turned a college project into an innovative device that spotlights the plight of the shrinking honey bee population.
She and the other students were tasked with creating a self-sustainable object that stimulates the growth of plants.While researching the project, she was stunned to learn about the plummeting population of honeybees, which are crucial in the pollination of many plants.
Plan Bee is a self-sufficient drone that cross-pollinates plants by working with nature, Haldewang said.
The drone mimics the process of how bees pollinate flowers and crops by transferring pollen from one flower to another. The device size is the size of a hand and uses ultraviolet light in its camera to spot a flower. The drone then sucks in pollen from the plant and expels it onto other plants to enable cross-pollination. The propellers on the drone are specifically designed to push air through the top vents.
“Mine’s unique in that the small vacuums inside that suck up the pollen use very little energy,” she said.
Haldewang considered about 50 variations before settling on the final design.
Each of its sections – or legs – has small holes underneath that allow the device to suck up pollen with the use of miniature vacuums while Plan Bee hovers over the flower.
The pollen is stored in the body before being transported and expelled for cross-pollination with another flower
. An ultra-violet camera helps locate where to place the pollen.
The propellers are angled in a way to help push air through the chambers and direct the pollen toward its targeted area.
She envisions two purposes for Plan Bee.
1. Views it as an educational product that can spread awareness about a bee’s role in the food system.
“I have no plans on taking over the bee population at all,” she said. “This is designed so that when you’re looking out your window, you’re able to see that drone at work and you’re able to realize how much bees mean to us and how much we need them in our everyday life.”
2. Could extend to indoor farming involving hydroponics in enclosed environments that lack bees. “That’s where Plan Bee could step in and help speed up that process in cross pollination in hydroponics,” she said.
She submitted her project to the International Design Awards and won a silver in the Environmental Design Preservation category.
Source : https://www.953mnc.com/