NASA could send a swarm of robot bees to the Red Planet. Researchers are taking inspiration from the insect world to develop Marsbee, a bold new idea that could enhance the exploration of Mars.

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As part of the NASA program called Innovative Advanced Concepts—which promotes the development of technologies capable of revolutionizing the future of space exploration— researchers from The University of Alabama in Huntsville and from George Washington University (USA), together with the Tokyo University of Science (Japan), have obtained 125,000 dollars (107,000 euros) in funds to develop the concept of Marsbees.

Graphic depiction of Marsbee – Swarm of Flapping Wing Flyers for Enhanced Mars Exploration
Credits: C. Kang

This is a swarm of robotic bees, each with the approximate size of a bumblebee, which will carry integrated sensors and wireless communication devices. The swarm of flying biorobots would land on Mars through a rover, which would also serve as a charging base and communications center with scientists on Earth.