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  1. #1
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    Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    This sounds freaking cool.

    Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com
    Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft’s former chief technology officer, thinks so. His company, Intellectual Ventures, has assembled commonly available technology — parts used in printers, digital cameras and projectors — to make rapid lasers to shoot down mosquitoes in mid-flight. If bed nets are the low-tech solution to combat the deadly disease — caused by a parasite transmitted when certain mosquitoes bite people — the laser is a high-tech one.
    He gave the first public demonstration of the laser, which was cobbled together from parts found on eBay, at the annual TED conference in Long Beach, Calif., which features lectures and demonstrations by experts in a wide range of fields, including technology, politics and entertainment.
    After hundreds of mosquitoes (which were kept in the hotel bathroom until showtime) were released into a glass tank, a laser tracked their movements and slowly shot them down, leaving their carcasses scattered on the bottom of the tank. While the demonstration was slowed down for public viewing, Mr. Myhrvold said that normally the lasers could shoot down anywhere between 50 to 100 mosquitoes per second.
    He estimates that the devices could potentially cost as little $50, depending on the volume of demand. However, his company would not manufacture them. Rather, it built the technology mostly as a proof of concept. (Among other things, his company is also working on cooking technology.) Other companies would have to take the laser technologies to market, so the timeline for seeing the lasers in common use is uncertain.


    Asteroids are nature's way of asking "How's that space program going?"

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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    I want 10 now!

    Ok, ok, deliver by June.

    PS, why is this in the cave? This should be told to the world!



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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    That and a 12 pack sounds like a full night's entertainment.



  4. #4
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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    Quote Originally Posted by herbicide View Post
    I want 10 now!

    Ok, ok, deliver by June.

    PS, why is this in the cave? This should be told to the world!
    old habits - i'll move it to offtopic.


    Asteroids are nature's way of asking "How's that space program going?"

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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    I wonder what stops them from shooting flies, moths, birds, etc.


    While on live TV, Ford used a vulgar term to describe a private part of the female anatomy, adding that he was “happily married” and “got more than enough to eat at home.”

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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
    I wonder what stops them from shooting flies, moths, birds, etc.
    Such technology could prove very useful for the future zombie outbreak.



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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    Quote Originally Posted by herbicide View Post
    Such technology could prove very useful for the future zombie outbreak.
    No kidding, probably be quite useful for the robot apocalypse as well.


    While on live TV, Ford used a vulgar term to describe a private part of the female anatomy, adding that he was “happily married” and “got more than enough to eat at home.”

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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    I find it very hard to believe that this device can differentiate between species of mosquitoes. Differentiating males from females perhaps.



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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    haha, this ad popped up at the top of the window when I opened up this thread.




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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    ok, thats kinda awesome...

    what happens if say someones hand ends up in the path of the laser?



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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
    I wonder what stops them from shooting flies, moths, birds, etc.

    Mr. Myhrvold said the software detects the speed and size of the image before deciding whether to shoot. It would reject a butterfly or a human, for example, and more powerful laser blasts could be used for locusts.
    The laser detection is so precise that it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted. “The women are bigger. They beat at a lower frequencies,” Mr. Myhrvold said. Since it is only the female mosquitoes who bite humans, for the sake of efficiency, his system would leave the males alone.



  12. #12
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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    "Mr. Myhrvold said the software detects the speed and size of the image before deciding whether to shoot. It would reject a butterfly or a human, for example, and more powerful laser blasts could be used for locusts. In regions afflicted by malaria, the lasers could be used to create protective fences around clinics, homes, or even agricultural fields as a substitute for pesticides."


    While on live TV, Ford used a vulgar term to describe a private part of the female anatomy, adding that he was “happily married” and “got more than enough to eat at home.”

  13. #13
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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Architect View Post
    I wonder what stops them from shooting flies, moths, birds, etc.
    Intellectual Ventures is featured prominently in the book, SuperFreakonomics. As I understand it, the lasers track the mosquito (as opposed to zapping a fly or moth) based on the speed that their wings move or flap. I also seem to remember that the female mosquito is the one the lasers specifically target because they have the different wing frequency. They also might be targeted more because they are more apt to carry disease.



  14. #14
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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    I often wonder what the point of a mosquito is. There has to be a point right? If they were to all go away would it throw something else off?



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    Re: Using Lasers to Zap Mosquitoes

    Quote Originally Posted by bos View Post
    I often wonder what the point of a mosquito is. There has to be a point right? If they were to all go away would it throw something else off?
    Yes, they are a part of the food chain.


    While on live TV, Ford used a vulgar term to describe a private part of the female anatomy, adding that he was “happily married” and “got more than enough to eat at home.”

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