Transliteration From Bee to Device

The bee system is uniquely compacted. Imagine a large bee circuit board before we shrink her. Bees are micro-packages; each bee's systems coordinate her into an assembly robot. Hordes of bee-robots in colonies assemble wax cells into combs for nurseries and storing honey, defend the colony and locate food sources. Each bee "package" resembles a very complex mass-produced chip, comprising a system of sensors, a coordination center and effectors. Parts on her chip are her compound eyes, a brain like a microprocessor and the cantilevered actuators of her wings and legs. She senses her environment. Her CPU or central processing unit compares inputs, chooses outputs, actuates actuators, and like any well-behaved robot, she responds to standard stimuli in quite predictable ways. Using no tools and at ambient temperatures she recreates herself. Bee-manufacturing has miniaturized her fuel supplies, sensors, CPU and actuators, while employing no toxic metals or high energies but only "clean" biological sources of energy. Thus, bees shrink and integrate far better and more economically than we can.

Although we have studied the structural properties of many such networks including a bee's anatomy quite thoroughly, most dynamical properties of these same networks remain unexplored.

Geometrical or size correlations of function depend on each system's geometry, architecture and materials. Interactions and relationships between size, structure and function across different scales are unknown. For example on 23 February 2005, searching for the word 'insect' together with the word "mesophysics" in Google did not match any documents.

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