The Bee Project
Bio-Sensor Networks for Large Area Environment Monitoring
The research project Bio-Sensor Networks for Large Area Environment Monitoring is funded by the “European fond for regional development” (EFRE) and the state of Bavaria (Freistadt Bayern). The objective of the project is to develop a bio-mechanical sensor network coordinated by a decentralized control center. The BEEgroup and the Department of Robotics and Telematics (Informatik VII) from the University of Würzburg work together with project partners Zentrum für Telematik e.V. , Fröhlich Elektronik and eSTe Sigrid Thoma towards achieving the objectives of the project.
Bees, covering a very large area for foraging, present the biological component of the sensor network. A chemical analysis of the pollen, collected by the bees, and different hive parameters indicates potential pollution within the foraging ground of the hive. Several hives are equipped with sensor technology, whose data are collected, stored and analyzed by a decentralized control station. A rough location of the pollution source is determined by analyzing the bees waggle dance in the hive, that shows the other bees the direction and distance of the foraging ground. Using this position information a mobile robot equipped with high precision sensors and environmental sensor technology is sent to the target area, analyzing the area and locating the exact source of pollution.
The project covers different research foci:
• pollutant detection and analysis using pollen and hive parameters
• analysis and decoding of the bees waggle dance
• analysis, transfer and combination of sensor data within a network of different hives
• semi autonomous locomotion and navigation of mobile robots in unknown rough terrain