Sticky Gel Helps Drones Become Pollinators

Sticky Gel Helps Drones Become Pollinators
Researchers have accidentally created a sticky gel that could allow tiny drones to pollinate plants.

The sticky material was inspired by a bottle of gel that had been left behind after a failed 2007 experiment. Finding the gel still surprisingly sticky and viscous after so long, the team decided to use it for research. They placed some of the gel on a drone with a horsehair ‘wig,’ which mimicked the structure of the bees’ pollen-holding hairs. The drone was then flown to Japanese lilies, where it collected pollen on its gelled hairs and proved to be an effective pollinator.

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As I know, in the nature some plants and pollinators have a very specialized and vulnerable relationship. Balance between endangered species could perhaps be revived with artificial pollinators and plant imitating feeding stations.
This makes possible cultivated and ornamental plants, which can’t pollinate naturally. Maybe it could also prevent non-native plants to reproduce in the nature.
Posted by Uolevi Kattun on February 13, 2017

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