Among the glistening military hardware at the MSPO arms fair in Kielce, Poland, what was the most impressive thing on display? I give you six words: ‘the Laser Movable Mosquito Killer Robot’.
Hidden among the vast array of armoured vehicles, air defence systems and air-launched weapons was this display by Chinese company LeiShen Intelligent, which literally screamed about its ‘Mosquito Killer Robot!!’
After a tip-off from a trusted contact, I went to hunt out the Shenzhen-based company, who were more than happy to chat about their product.
They’ve essentially taken their 2D LIDAR technology, commonly seen on home cleaning robots, integrated it on a small UGV and stuck a mosquito killing laser on the top.
A LeiShen Intelligent representative said while they had yet to make a sale, the company was pitching the idea to hospitals, schools or other public buildings in areas blighted by diseases such as malaria or zika.
Through an object recognition and tracking algorithm, the killer robot recognises a mosquito and ‘instantly’ lasers it. The company claims the laser is capable of killing an impressive ’30 to 40 mosquitoes in one second’, a fact I double-checked had not been mistranslated.
While the spokesperson was not able to name the actual laser used as part of the system, the company’s website lists several eye-safe laser products and the Mosquito Killer Robot apparently has ‘multi-protection for human beings’.
As well as being an impressive integration of several technologies, the aim of getting the systems in the hands of institutions such as hospitals is clearly an admirable one.
But as company literature reveals, in humanity’s fight against the mosquito, the Chinese have been playing the long game:
‘In the past thousands of years that are written in history, human’s [sic] fight against mosquitoes have never ended with our victory. But with the invention and later-application of these laser mosquito killer products, history is there to be changed. Diseases like malaria, dengue fever and zika that [are] caused by mosquito bites will get controlled a great deal.’