RFID flowers

I developed mobile artificial flowers with photoelectric through beam sensor and RFID reading system. The flowers are able to precisely record time and number of bat visits, as well as the identity of RFID tagged individuals. Computational hard- and software is based on Arduino. Each flower has a nectar reservoir that allows a virtually unlimited number of visits. With six rechargeable AA NiMH batteries, a flower runs for up to two nights. Flowers are used in a project investigating whether juveniles forage together with their mothers.

Glossophaga soricina approaching RFID flower
G. soricina approaching the RFID flower.

 

RFID flower prototypes
(A) first prototype, (B) first field Version in 2016 and (C) latest version.

 

The RFID flowers are readily accepted by free-living bats:

 

Comparable to the bell-shaped flowers of many bat pollinated plants, the bats have to insert their heads for feeding:
Glossophaga approaching RFID flower

Glossophaga hovering at RFID flower

Glossophaga feeding at RFID flower

Glossophaga with transponder at RFID flower
G. soricina with RFID transponder glued to its back.