The patent-pending and prototype-tested Buzz Trap UAV provides a mosquito trap that can autonomously fly into remote locations and confined spaces on solar power without human intervention to collect and return mosquitos for scientific testing to help map and predict the spread of viruses. The trap uses mosquito attractants that can be easily obtained and renewed.
Secondly, the trap is light weight enough so that it can be carried by the drone and become easily airborne. Lastly, the UAV itself is affordable, easily maneuverable from a considerable distance away, and the flight range is of adequate distance and duration.
Using CAD software, I designed and 3D printed a mosquito printed trap using BPA plastic and resin. The mosquitoes fly in through vertical slits and then are trapped, alive, inside the conical structure. The trap uses UV light and CO2 to attract mosquitoes, with the CO2 being produced by using UV light and TiO2, titanium dioxide in a powdered form, to produce CO2 via a photo catalytic reaction.
The drone was completely hand/machine assembled by me and includes: a carbon fiber drone frame, 4 motors, 4 propellers, 5 LED strips, 4 UV LEDs, a 5000 mAh battery, 4 electronic speed controllers, an NZ GPS and a sonar sensor. I installed the program CleanFlight to fly the drone remotely, using first person viewing goggles. There are solar panels that allow the drone to recharge. At just $709.46 in total cost, BuzzTrap represents the future of affordable, governmental ecosystem monitoring.
WARNING! INVASIVE MOSQUITOES FOUND IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
One summer, this notice suddenly appeared on a sign post in Orange County, California. Vector Control warned that invasive mosquitoes had been found in my own neighborhood. After researching further, I found out these were Asian Tiger Mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus, dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya virus. Then I heard about the outbreak of Zika virus, also transmitted by mosquitoes. So much illness from such small insects! In fact, mosquitoes are considered to be the “most dangerous animals on the planet”, transmitting pathogens and subsequently killing more people than all other animals combined. Every year several million people are killed due to mosquito borne diseases. Aside from the tragic loss of life, the financial cost of a major outbreak due to mosquito born illnesses can be astronomical. For instance, in the Caribbean and Latin America, estimates have put the cost of Zika at $18 billion. Even closer to home, estimates have put the potential cost of a Zika outbreak here in the US at somewhere between $183 million-1.2 billion dollars.
What inspired you?
I wanted to do my part in fixing this problem. What can be done to stop the spread of these mosquito-borne diseases? Mosquito surveillance is a vital part of controlling mosquito populations and curbing disease transmission. Currently, there is no efficient way to catch mosquitoes in remote areas, such as the swampy Everglades or the canopy of trees in the Amazon. Locally here in my home of Orange County, California, mosquitoes like to breed in tight fitting storm drains. Vector control employees must don protective gear and take safety risks in order to place these mosquito traps! What if an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) could fly, land, and catch mosquitoes, then return for testing? Mosquito control activities could then be initiated. With improved ability to trap mosquitoes for testing, governments would be better able to alert the public of the arrival of new risky mosquito populations and mosquitoes that might be carrying viruses into their local area before there is a major health threat. Buzz Trap is poised to revolutionize vector control and make a major impact in the fight against mosquito borne diseases throughout our world.