Microsoft Research is building a better mosquito trap

Microsoft Research Mosquito Trap (Small)

Microsoft Research has developed a mosquito prototype trap as part of their broader Project Premonition research project which is designed to automatically do things entomologists previously had to do manually. This new trap is designed to only collect the type of mosquito an entomologist wants to track using machine learning techniques, instead of a hodgepodge of mosquitoes, flies, moths and other critters that scientists then need to manually sort through. The trap also can give researchers data on what time each mosquito was trapped, as well as what the temperature, wind and humidity was when the mosquito flew in. And this trap can withstand the rain, wind and other elements. This trap is powered by two small, battery-powered microprocessors, which gather data that is then transmitted to the cloud via a wireless Bluetooth connection.

Project Premonition seeks to detect pathogens in animals before these pathogens make people sick. It does this by treating a mosquito as a device that can find animals and sample their blood. Project Premonition uses drones and new robotic mosquito traps to capture many more mosquitoes from the environment than previously possible, and then analyzes their body contents for pathogens. Pathogens are detected by gene sequencing collected mosquitoes and computationally searching for known and unknown pathogens in sequenced genetic material.

Read more about this story here. Read about MSR’s Project Premonition here.