Researchers in Japan are studying the use of small drones to pollinate plants, the Los Angeles Times reports. These remote-controlled pollination devices are outfitted with horsehairs coated with a sticky gel to the underbelly of the device to gather pollen.
The four-propeller drone and horsehairs are designed to mimic a bee’s body. The team says there is a lot of work to be done, and drones need to become easier to maneuver, efficient, and paired with GPS and artificial intelligence to be programmed to search and pollinate. The team also said operating a small drone was a challenge.
“A certain amount of practice with remote control of the artificial pollinator is necessary,” according to the report.