Localization and Tracking Bees Using a Battery-Less Transmitter and an Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

A novel method for the localization and autonomous tracking of bees within their natural habitat is presented herein. Mechanical energy produced from bee motion is captured and converted to power a miniature bee wearable transmitter weighing ~30mg. A compact phased array antenna affords angle of arrival (AOA) estimation and bee localization through a received signal strength indicator approach (RSSI). The AOA estimate is autonomously fed into the control system of a drone allowing for continuous position updates. The experimental results show proof of concept towards autonomous tracking of tagged bees.