“I bet there’s one thing about bees you don’t know, Felix,” Scorch challenged.
“What is it?” Felix was always excited to learn more about the buzzing bees.
“It can detect bombs,” Scorch answered.
She continued, “A team of researchers from countries Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina has found a way to use bees and drones to detect landmines. Landmines are explosives under the surface of the ground.
When trained, bees pick up the scent of the explosive. So, when they come across a landmine, they buzz around it. There was one problem. Bees are so small in size while the land area with explosives is huge. The researchers wondered, how do we track the bees?
That’s how the drones helped! The team released a few drones in the field to capture the bees’ footage.”
“But then came another obstacle: the bees were so tiny that even in the drone footage, researchers couldn’t always spot them. So, the team used a machine-learning algorithm to help computers detect the bees in the footage,” Scorch informed the three Mysticals.
Machine learning is part of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Computers can learn and evolve from the information provided on their own. It applies the knowledge to detect or solve problems.
“And it worked! The computer analyzed the footage and revealed the areas where the bees had clustered. It matched the position of landmines.”
Verum said, “Due to past wars, there are 80,000 landmines in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Croatia, there are 30,000 landmines. In a few countries, landmines are still being planted.”
“And metal detectors might not detect every landmine under the ground,” Orak added. “Kudos to innovations that can save lives.”
“Bees, drones, and AI make a good team,” Felix exclaimed happily.