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In fact as far as robo-bees go, they’ve been around since 2012. The Smithsonian’s Design Museum exhibited one of the, courtesy of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, in its exhibition Tools at the end of 2014. There’s information and even a video over on the exhibition website.

As the object description says,

To build individual bees, sheets of laser-cut materials are sandwiched together into a thin, flat plate that folds up like a pop-up book into the complete electromechanical structure. Swarms of RoboBees could not only have the capacity to artificially pollinate crops, but also participate in search-and-rescue missions, act as environmental sensors, or conduct covert surveillance.

So it’s not that far away …