Laser technology has come a very long way. Many industries use it for various different purposes. From using lasers in medicine and printing all the way to killing mosquitoes, there’s no doubt that the technology has advanced tremendously. For many centuries we’ve dealt with the burden of catching mosquitoes using different devices. In underdeveloped countries, the issue still persists because mosquitoes are the cause to one of the world’s most t dangerous diseases: malaria.
Mosquito laser technology, or the “bug zapper”
A recent report issued in The Wall Street Journal, talks about a new project that involves using laser to kill mosquitoes of all sorts and kinds. Dubbed the “Weapon of Mosquito Destruction” (WMD), the project aims at making the technology go mainstream. This way, lasers can be used to eradicate mosquitoes and stop the spread of malaria. A venture company called Intellectual Ventures, sponsors the “photonic fence” project, and it strongly believe that it will succeed. Former CTO at Microsoft, and owner of Intellectual Ventures, Nathan Myhrvold, calls the laser system the “bug zapper”. Basically, the technology is based on locating mosquitoes, and then lasers are fired in their direction and “toasts” them.
The project’s research team is currently working on perfecting the technology. It still need proper target algorithm optimization so as to detect mosquitoes in time, before they can get contact with the human body. According to the developers, the goal is to use the laser system to set a perimeter defense, thus protecting everyone within that perimeter, and completely banishing mosquitoes from going in.
Why a mosquito-zapping gizmo might be better than malaria vaccination
The makers of the “bug zapper” emphasize that above everything else, they are hardcore inventors. They do it for fun, for profit, and for a need to make a different and help tackle a very specific issue. In this case, malaria, which is a very serious disease. With the “bug zapper”, they believe the number of deaths in underdeveloped African countries can be severely reduced. The bug zapper was made in a femtosecond laser lab. Basically, it creates very short light pulses (femtosecond pulses).
One of the core purposes of the bug zapper is to protect the clinics. Since many are packed with people already suffering from malaria, the laser technology can protect it by killing mosquitoes before they go in. The system can also be used for other purposes. Farmers can use it to protect their farms, and ordinary people can have it installed in their homes to protect their crops, backyards and loved ones.
Since the bug zapper is still a prototype, the makers argue that the technology used constantly changes. They want to perfect it and use nonlethal lasers to listen to a mosquito’s wing beat frequency. Then it measures the size of the bug and shots to kill.
Hunting mosquitoes with lasers – a brilliant piece of technology that might change the world
The beauty of IVL’s mosquito-zapping technology is the manufacturing costs involved. The makers claim that it’s very cheap, and yet so powerful. The fence-like laser system only makes use on non-lethal lasers that are completely harmless in humans. It is smart enough to monitor the type of bug entering the perimeter, and if the insect spot is not in the system, it is left alone.
Using the technology to control the mosquito population can mean a lot to the health industry. The spread of malaria is stopped, and if they manage to achieve their target, the laser system can be perfect for a wealth of other purposes. At this point, humanity faces many severe challenges – hunger, poverty, health, energy, and more. Laser technology can help tackle some of these concerns.
From laser engraving and etching to keep track of medical equipment to laser devices that perform more precise surgeries without putting the health of the patient in danger, there’s no doubt that the industry has advanced. Increasingly more companies are seeking a laser engraving service to ease production and craft better products. The future is bright for this sector, and if the bug zapper goes mainstream, other companies will probably expand on the idea, and use it to kill other harmful insects, not just malaria-causing mosquitoes.