Why a digital bee brain is piloting a drone

The part of a bee's brain that allows it to see has been recreated by scientists in a computer simulation and connected to a drone - not of the bee variety, but an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The simulation, which is currently a simplification of a real bee brain, allows researchers to perform the same experiments that have been done on real bees.

The research is part of a wider project, known as the Green Brain Project, which aims to recreate a complete European honey bee (Apis mellifera) brain on a computer.

"Bees and all other insects are miracles of engineering which we are nowhere near equalling," said Prof James Marshall.

"If we could even recreate a fraction of their abilities in a robot system then we would have made a tremendous advance," he added.

BBC Click's Stephen Beckett reports.

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