NASA wants to send a swarm of robotic, "flapping wing" bees to Mars to help explore the Martian surface. The robots will be as big as bumblebees with cicada sized wings. Called Marsbees, the proposed project, if approved, will work alongside a Mars rover which will also serve as a base for operations and recharging station for the swarm.
According to a release from NASA, a swarm of Marsbees can significantly improve the upcoming Mars missions. They highlighted three major advantages to using Marsbees — setting up sensor networks that can be reconfigured as needed, building Mars resilient systems, and collecting samples and data using the swarm as individuals or as a hive mind. While this concept might seem like a great way to explore the Red Planet, considering how slowly the rovers tend to move, they are yet to be approved for feasibility. The idea has been passed on to a team of researchers for testing. One of these tests will be attempting to fly Marsbees in a vacuum chamber that simulates Martian air density to see how well they can cope in the thin air present on Mars, reports ScienceAlert
By: Swati Kaushal