Microsoft Research is making “the world’s most sophisticated mosquito trap”, here’s how it works

Mosquitoes researchers around the world are about to have a new tool in their arsenal in the battle with one of the most dangerous animal species around the world, thanks to Microsoft Research: an advanced trap that “marks the biggest innovation in trap technology in decades”. A new post has been published on Microsoft’s news page to go into details about the new trap.

Specifically, Microsoft’s mosquito trap can actually recognize and let in only mosquitoes, as opposed to other aerial insects with similar flying patterns like moths or flies, that often get mixed in when using inferior traps. The new trap can also give researchers other important other stats like the time each mosquito was trapped, the temperature, wind and humidity at the time of capture, and so on. It is also weather-proof: rain, wind and other elements should be no problem. The trap achieves this level of sophistication with two battery-microprocessors, Bluetooth connection to transfer data to the cloud, and Microsoft’s machine learning capabilities.

“We’ll have a plethora of data we never had before about the behavior of the insects.”

– Ethan Jackson, Microsoft researcher and Leader of Project Premonition

The new trap, a product of Microsoft Research’s Project Premonition to battle mosquito-transmitted diseases using preventative methods with advanced technology, is being deployed in Harris County, Houston, as part of a pilot program to fight the notorious Zika virus. The trap will reportedly help researchers to identify the virus mosquitoes are carrying and if new dangerous types are emerging. The pilot program will help track Zika virus carrier mosquitoes, while helping to train the traps and system in mosquito recognition – through wing-flapping rhythm – with lots of data.

Overall, the new trap and Project Premonition – all part of Microsoft’s Expedition program – is another great way the Redmond tech giant is using its technology capabilities to solve current, real-world problems. The next step in Project Premonition is applying drone technology to the solution, and we can look forward to more exciting development coming in the future; stay tuned for more Microsoft Research news.

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