With the Bug Zapper of the Future, Insects Will Have to Learn the Hard Way

Christ. Are those lasers?

By Evan Bleier

With the Bug Zapper of the Future, Insects Will Have to Learn the Hard Way
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28 June 2017

One thing's for sure: the crazy contraption you see above is a far cry from the humble fly swatter.

In hopes to help farmers zap away bad bugs and spare nice ones, Seattle-based Intellectual Ventures Lab have made a device that allows users to flash-fry targets of their choice using a preprogrammed “kill list.”

So, it's a hypermodern bug zapper, so to speak. 

After scanning for pests within 330-foot range using cameras, optics and “a 30-Watt wall of near-infrared light,” the Photonic Fence can identify targets based on factors including wing beat frequency, shape, size and airspeed, and then deliver a lethal laser blast within 25 milliseconds.

Remarkably effective, the device destroys 99% of the insects it identifies and can take out up to 20 pests per second, Intellectual Ventures told Wired.

Zapper (2 images)

Currently testing with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the device has mainly been used on mosquitos thus far (as you can see below) but has also targeted fruit flies and sand flies.

"You can choose to eliminate all the small, flying things or you can choose to be very specific about the kinds of things you want to kill,” according to the project’s technical lead Arty Makagon. "It turns out that everybody you talk about this to has a pest they want to kill. Some small, flying things that are really annoying and detrimental to their way of being."

Take a gander at the video below. Then fantasize about busting this bad boy out at your next BBQ. 

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