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Nvidia GPUs to Help Simulate a Bee's Brain for Flying Robots

By - Source: Geek.com | B 21 comments

Scientists are attempting to build a flying robot that can carry out specific tasks, and can function as autonomously as a bee.

The idea is to guide the robot by the senses of vision and smell and eventually aid in search and rescue missions or, as bees do, "mechanical pollination of crops".

Covering the massive computational power of an organic brain is now small feat. For example, IBM recently estimated that the human brain is capable of more than 35 Pflops (the world's fastest supercomputer currently peaks at 20.1 Pflops). So it is not surprising that we should be starting with a brain much smaller. But even a robot with a "Green Brain" that resembles the brain power of a bee will need GPU accelerators - donated to the research project by Nvidia - to perform "the massive calculations needed to simulate a brain using a standard desktop PC – rather than on a large, expensive supercomputing cluster," the scientists leading the project at the University of Sheffield said.

The researchers hope that the project will expand our understanding of brain modeling, computational neuroscience projects, as well as the honey bee itself.

"Green Brain's modeling could help scientists to understand why honey bee numbers are dwindling and also contribute to the development of artificial pollinators, such as those being researched by the National Science Foundation-funded Robobees project, led by Harvard University," the scientists said.

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    Onus , October 5, 2012 5:37 PM
    Hmmm, will they "dance" like bees, or will they just transfer GPS coordinates to each other?
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    itchyisvegeta , October 5, 2012 5:33 PM
    "Bees... My God!"
  • 17 Hide
    Onus , October 5, 2012 5:37 PM
    Hmmm, will they "dance" like bees, or will they just transfer GPS coordinates to each other?
  • 6 Hide
    ttg_Avenged , October 5, 2012 6:01 PM
    Ahhhh. technology. I hope in my life, when I'm 20-30 so I can decide to not get whipped by having a "robot" GPU accelerated wife. :)  Me likey.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 5, 2012 6:03 PM
    what if the bees brain needs a GPU to be overclocked to reach the bees brain power?
  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 5, 2012 6:04 PM
    I predict someone will make a movie about a roboticized bee swarm caused by a PC* virus. Maybe a sequel to "The Swarm": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Swarm_%28film%29


    *Has to be PC virus since we all know that Apple products don't get viruses. ;D
  • 4 Hide
    xkm1948 , October 5, 2012 6:17 PM
    GPU Powered robot insects. Hmm, We are getting closer to the Matrix world.
  • 3 Hide
    DroKing , October 5, 2012 6:25 PM
    Cue the life sized bees rampaging earth :p  like 8 legged freaks movie =D
  • 3 Hide
    Albyint , October 5, 2012 6:29 PM
    This stuff is the.......

    bee's knees of new tech!
  • -4 Hide
    vittau , October 5, 2012 6:37 PM
    I suppose they're not embedding the GPU in the robot itself, right?
  • 3 Hide
    f-14 , October 5, 2012 6:41 PM
    here's the thing they want to put those chips in:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcXH4iCnck4&feature=relmfu
    California Company Unveils Hummingbird Spy Drone
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , October 5, 2012 6:42 PM
    Next step: Reverse engineering the bees' pathfinding.

    Hopefully games that use a lot of pathfinding, such as Starcraft or SimCity, eat up less CPU resource.
  • 3 Hide
    warezme , October 5, 2012 8:06 PM
    It's Friday and I can't resist so here goes..., but can the mech bees play CRYSIS..., being rated down, 3...2...1...
  • 0 Hide
    spookyman , October 5, 2012 8:57 PM
    Imagine sending a group of robotic bees to sting enemy troops with a toxic poison or deliver disease? Maybe put explosives on them and they can explode when close to enemy troops or near ammo dumps?
  • 1 Hide
    Dkz , October 5, 2012 9:04 PM
    Stop polluting the environment and we won't need to rush those damn robots to do something that is being done for free by those lovely creatures that gives us honey.
    Is that hard to try not to kill everything in our path that we already need alternative creatures to replace the ones we are killing to extension?
  • 0 Hide
    nightbird321 , October 5, 2012 10:32 PM
    Anyone else read "search and rescue missions" and immediately thought "search and destroy missions"?

    Something like this is far more likely to be used for reconnaissance missions in places like the US-Mexico border and if the drone is smart enough to patrol and return to a "base" to recharge by itself, contacting a human operator only when necessary, then the tactical possibilities are enormous.
  • 0 Hide
    gerchokas , October 5, 2012 10:34 PM
    Next step: extinguish the bees. "So you dont pay royalties to our company? Ok see how much our bees care about pollinizing your crops"
    Thats much more common than you think (google "monsanto")
  • 0 Hide
    NightLight , October 6, 2012 9:04 AM
    aah, professor keenbean did it years ago!
  • 1 Hide
    A Bad Day , October 6, 2012 6:13 PM
    DkzStop polluting the environment and we won't need to rush those damn robots to do something that is being done for free by those lovely creatures that gives us honey.Is that hard to try not to kill everything in our path that we already need alternative creatures to replace the ones we are killing to extension?


    Ever heard of Colony Collapse Disorder? Ever heard of using it for something else other than pollination?

    For example, a synthetic version of shark skin repelled all of the bacteria and fungi from it, and maybe deployed to hospitals to counter antibiotic resistant diseases that keep breeding there.
  • 0 Hide
    proffet , October 8, 2012 12:21 PM
    but Kepler GPU's a hideous at computing...
  • 0 Hide
    boulbox , October 9, 2012 4:31 AM
    jhansonxiI predict someone will make a movie about a roboticized bee swarm caused by a PC* virus. Maybe a sequel to "The Swarm": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Swarm_%28film%29*Has to be PC virus since we all know that Apple products don't get viruses. ;D


    what about the trojan that infected about 600k macs?
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