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Robotic Laser Can Target, Kill Cockroaches

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The device is equipped with a laser, two cameras, and a small computer running an AI model that can be trained to target certain types of insect.

Credit: Ildar Rakhmatulin

Researchers at the U.K.'s Heriot-Watt University developed a device that can kill cockroaches using a laser, two cameras, and an artificial intelligence (AI) model capable of targeting specific insect types.

The device could would be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than insecticides, according to the researchers.

The researchers were able to kill a common cockroach in about a second from 1.2 meters away using a 1,600 milliwatt laser.

They said the AI would have to be trained to target the laser at the cockroach's abdomen, which kills it quickly, rather than other parts of its body.

However, the dangerous impact of lasers on human eyesight means the device likely would not be suitable for home use.

Said Rakhmatulin, "If we talk about industrial or agricultural applications, it's a very serious possibility. It's very cheap, even compared to pesticides, because laser prices are not so high."

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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