NASA to send robotic bees to Mars in an attempt to study the planet further. The space agency has implemented this idea ahead of sending humans to our neighbor planet. The image shows a concept of how Marsbees would work. (Photo via NASA)
What’s the next step after Mars rovers? Swarms of robots!
Dubbed “Marsbee,” a swarm of robotic bees are being planned to boost and support a central rover. The rovers have some limited capacities in their technology, but that can easily be worked around with the development of Marsbees. Unlike the rovers, Marsbees will have the ability to transmit data wirelessly, which means they won't have to be used on the ground and they will be in flight, acting as a swarm, but controlled by a form of AI. The wingspan size will help to understand exactly how flights would work in the atmosphere.
These robotic bees will be able to swarm the planet via the atmosphere and won't need to land on terrain anywhere near it in order to study the planet and gather data. However, their main use and focus are to swarm the red planet with their bumblebee-like structure, but enhanced wing size, thus enabling the planet to be explored at a more in-depth level.
The Marsbees would also have their own re-charging system and would have the ability to transmit data back and forth in the same system which would allow easier management of what they can offer.
The Marsbee seems to be very beneficial and offers a lot of enhanced flexibility for what it can offer, with its small size and design that allows it be more applicable to testing. It would also provide a much easier task of validating the system and enable engineers the ability to understand it better.
The Marsbee would be a collaboration between the United States and Japan in response to studying the flight in Mars' atmosphere, but both teams will have a different, yet a similar set of ideas to implement. The team in the US will create a model in numerical standards to analyze the robotic systems. Meanwhile, the team in Japan will develop and test the fully functional robot specifically designed to withstand the atmosphere on Mars.
This project will allow researchers to have a much better understanding of how to explore Mars to its fullest potential. It is also being used as one of the 25 projects NASA is funding in hopes that they will be able to send humans to Mars in the future.
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