NASA announced that it plans to send robot bees on Mars. This project is to replace the current NASA rover, which is slow, bulky and expensive. Although it still in early stage, NASA has two teams working actively on design these robot bees to fly on Mars. Once succeed, the bees will not only map the Martian terrain but also collect samples of the Mars’ thin air hoping to fine methane gas – a possible sign of life.
Mars has a relative low gravity. This planet has just one-third of Earth’s gravitational pull, so flying bees there is likely feasible. The robot bees will need the Rover to maintain it flying functions. For example, the Rover will serve as recharge station, sensor module unit and communication to main base.
The robot bees project is still in their early stage, but the University of Alabama is working on a number of models and a Japanese team is designing and testing its prototype.