SciTech

SciTech Briefs

Honey bees are vital to the pollination of plants without which food production would be severely hampered. Scientists in Europe recently discovered traces of pesticide in three-fourths of the world’s honey which could negatively affect bee population. (credit: Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons) Honey bees are vital to the pollination of plants without which food production would be severely hampered. Scientists in Europe recently discovered traces of pesticide in three-fourths of the world’s honey which could negatively affect bee population. (credit: Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons)

MIT engineers develop robot that can walk with humans

On Sept. 25, engineers from the Massachusettes Institute of Technology (MIT) presented a robot at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Robotics Society of Japan (RSJ) International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Vancouver.

This robot can navigate pathways alongside humans, without tripping up anyone. It follows the social rules of walking in public spaces such as passing left, keeping to the right and respecting personal space.

According to Science News, this robot has very different programming from autonomous vehicles because it has to navigate many non-fixed, “highly unpredictable paths” alongside humans, who have a very loose set of rules and etiquette while deciding their own path.
This robot uses many different sensors, including a depth sensor, with which it was taught to walk.

Source: Science News

Scientists find pesticides in most of the world’s honey

European Scientists have found neonicotinoid in three-fourths of the honey samples that they collected from around the world by asking people to send honey. This was the first global honey-testing survey of its kind.

Neonicotinoid is responsible for the bees’ reduced survival rate and immune responses. It was also found that worker bees exposed to this chemical were more likely to have lower life expectancies and were more likely to permanently lose their colonies’ queen.

In an article on BBC’s website, one of the researchers of the study, Professor Pywell, from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Oxfordshire said, “This is important because many crops globally are insect pollinated and without pollinators, we would struggle to produce some foods.”.

This study was published in Science.

Source: BBC

Netflix prices rise by 10 percent after two years

Starting Oct. 19, Netflix will start notifying its customers of its price hike. This increase has been in place since Thursday and affects over 50 million users. The standard service will now cost $10.99 instead of $9.99 and the premium service will be $13.99 instead of $11.99. The basic streaming plan will still be priced the same.

This is the first price hike since the last one in 2015.

In 2015, when the company introduced a $1 increase to their standard service, the companies shares dropped to a three-year low, after subscriber growth slowed down. This price increase comes shortly after their intent to spend $6 billion to produce more original content, which seems to be its only competitive advantage as of now.

Source: CNN