“The gel-coated hairs created more surface area with which to pick up pollen. A slight electrical charge running through the bristles also helped hold the pollen grains during flight.
Scientists used their creation to successfully pollinate pink-leaved Japanese lilies, Lilium japonicum. They described their feat in the journal Chem.
“The findings, which will have applications for agriculture and robotics, among others, could lead to the development of artificial pollinators and help counter the problems caused by declining honeybee populations,” Miyako said. “We believe that robotic pollinators could be trained to learn pollination paths using global positioning systems and artificial intelligence.””