The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

WVU researchers develop new robot pollinator as a backup for declining insect populations


The shortage of natural pollinators, such as bees, is threatening global food production around the world, making it difficult to feed an ever-growing human population. Researchers at West Virginia University have come up with a plan B to this decline in pollinators by creating a robotic pollinator.

A team led by Yu Gu, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is creating StickBug, a six-armed robot to assist humans in greenhouse environments by pollinating various crops.

Gu’s robotic pollination proposal submitted to the National Robotics Initiative was selected for $750,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Joining Gu on the project are Jason Gross, associate professor and associate chair for research, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Nicole Waterland, associate professor of horticulture and director of controlled environments.

Read more: