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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