Retail giant, Walmart, has joined many in trying to resolve the problem facing our world caused by the endangerment of bees. Bees are regarded to be one of the world’s most important species as most crops (about 70 percent) today require pollination to develop fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
On 8 March 2018, Walmart filed a patent for autonomous robotic bees which can pollinate plants. Five other patents were also filed and these included additional farming drones such as drones used to track down pests and drones to monitor and check upon the health status of the crops on the field. The drones will use sensors and cameras to detect the locations of the crops. Further reading – Science Alert.
Just a few days prior to this filing, on 1 March 2018, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released an application by Walmart to patent a device described a “Smart Package”. This is a device that would record information on a blockchain regarding the contents of the package, environmental conditions, and location.
Walmart appears to be working on numerous “smart” initiatives.
Smartphones, wearables and tablets are part of the Internet of Things (IoT) network which extends to home appliances, industrial machinery, vehicles and ships for example. Autonomous drones are also classified as an IoT device as they are required to be connected to the internet in order to be monitored, programmed and updated on the internet.
The IoT market has been on an upward trend for the last few years and started to grow exponentially in 2017 and there are IoT projects ongoing from “Smart Agriculture” to “Smart Cities”. According to Gartner, the more than 80 Billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2025 – technology is moving at a rapid rate.
Further reading – Security and hacking concerns for IoT devices
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