When imagining a beehive, the first thing that pops into your mind might be a group of hexagons joined together. But what if the hive is built of other shapes? And what would the consequences of that be?
We have chosen a beehive’s hexagonal cells as an example due to its unique qualities. However, explaining the science behind beehives might be too complicated for children, so we applied a Learning-by-Doing method to simplify the concept.
Our machine learning model will identify the drawing and morph it into the closest basic shape. The software will then evaluate the efficiency of the shape. The most efficient shape can store the maximum amount of honey, and use the least amount of wax. Children can try drawing other shapes to see different evaluation results and decide which shape would be best for the bees. Once the shape has been submitted, a simulation will be shown on the screen of the bees building their hive based on the chosen shape. At the end of the experience, the children’s beehive will be rated and be provided some feedback on how to improve their design.
In order for the drawing to be recognized and converted into the closest shape, we applied the machine learning algorithms, Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) which analyzes and classifies hand-drawn images.
The Beehive Interactive Experience was displayed as part of the “Surviving the Planet – A Life Science Exhibition” on October 1, 2020 to January 5, 2021 in Nanning, China. Children were overjoyed to see their bees building hives. And we truly hope that this fun experience can inspire them to explore nature.