Researchers in Edinburgh, UK, have created a device that could offer a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly alternative to insecticides.
The device employs a laser, cameras and a small computer, and the computer uses artificial intelligence (AI) to target certain types of insect. It has been shown to use machine vision to spot cockroaches and kill them with the laser.
Tests have shown a 1600mW laser can kill a German cockroach (Blattalla germanica) at a range up to 1.2m in about one second. The laser is capable of tracking the insect at their average speed of movement.
The system has been described as potentially cheap (about A$45), however applications would probably exclude residential settings because of the risk to human eyesight by lasers.