Drones are set to become the latest environmentally friendly weapon in the fight against the deadly Zika virus.
By spreading diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and the Zika virus, mosquitoes kill more humans worldwide than any other animal. Mosquitoes are responsible for 725,000 human deaths every year. To give that figure some kind of perspective official shark attack figures stand at around 10 people killed a year .
Many ways of dealing with mosquitoes – such as fumigation or insecticide – have a negative environmental impact. However one proven way of tackling the problem without using dangerous chemicals, is to release large numbers of sterile male mosquitoes – this in turn has the effect of crowding out other males and reducing the population as a whole.
The difficulty has been spreading sterile mosquitoes over wide areas with poor infrastructure and few roads.
WeRobotics has developed a plan to resolve this by using specially adapted drones which will be able to release sterile mosquitoes, gradually over a wide area from the air.
But it’s quite a technical challenge… How do you modify a drone so it can release fragile mosquitoes without damaging them? How do you ensure the mosquitoes are gradually released during the Drones flight and aren’t released all at the same time?
Read more details at the BBC news story ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42066518 ) and at the WeRobotics web site (https://werobotics.org/blog/2017/06/12/aerial-robotics-to-reduce-zika/ )
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