Honey bees share their information about food sources through the waggle dance. This type of communication has long been known. But experts were still puzzled about how exactly they the details of the informations were communicated with their dance. Now biologists and computer scientists at the “Free University Berlin” have developed a robotic bee that helps decoding this dancing steps.
This fascinating project is part of the DFG exhbition “Von der Idee zur Erkenntnis”, which is currently traveling through Germany. Design, development of interactive exhibits and production was realized by my business unit “Interactive Exhibits” at Triad Berlin. Details about location and opening hours can be found on the DFG website. (image source)
Every project that is introduced at the exhibition consist of the same constitutive parts: the individual color code of the project, the significant teaser image, an intriguing intro question, the wall with detailed information about the project at its inner side and the so called laboratory. Here the visitors can slip into the role of the researcher for a moment and experiment on their own. Therefore each project has an especially developed hands on station with a simple interactive exhibit. Some of them are digital due to the wish of the researchers and the character of his project, but we tried to make as many as possible to be more analog and a bit playful. That ensures that even the most complex research projects attract more visitors then on the first sight would be interested in the topic.
A so called researchers file card is introducing the responsible researcher and his team. It also provides interesting background information by displaying the answers to 5 questions each of the responsible project managers has been asked.
On the right you can see the bee with a transponder on its back. During flight she is tracked by a radar and the information will later be transferred to the software. The Robobee imitates the waggle dance of other bees and the researchers control by radar if the bees are following the instructions to find the right food source.