Autonomous Robot Bees To Swarm at Walmart Near You


Mega-retailer Walmart supplies its customers with a lot of things and now the company appears to be interested in the teeny tiny drone market.

The big box retailer filed a patent on March 8 for a prototype of autonomous robotic bees. This is one of six patents related to farming that Walmart filed.

So what would a retail company want with a bunch of robot bees? Bee colonies all over the world have been dying out, which is scary because of the vital role they play as pollinators. And having pollinated plants is an important factor in our national and global food supply. These tiny bot bees rely on sensors and cameras to find crops to pollinate, instead of using traditional bee methods.

Walmart is a popular purveyor of groceries. Technology like this could give the company a greater control over a large percentage of its supply chain, says CB Insights.

This isn't the first time robotic bees or bee drones have been developed as a concept, however. Scientists in Japan last February reported that they were developing tiny bee-like drones. Harvard University developed a flying RoboBee in 2013. Walmart's attempt isn't likely to be the last either.