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AI-controlled robotic laser can target and kill cockroaches

A laser controlled by two cameras and a small computer running an AI model can be trained to target certain types of insect

Technology 20 October 2022

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The cockroach-killing laser device

Ildar Rakhmatulin

Researchers have created a device that uses machine vision to spot cockroaches and zap them with a laser. They say the method could offer a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to insecticides.

Ildar Rakhmatulin at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, and his colleagues equipped a laser with two cameras and a small computer running an AI model that can be trained to target certain types of insect.

Rakhmatulin says the team opted to carry out experiments using cockroaches because their resilience is a stern test: “If …