Aerial Robotics for Vector Control

Using Aerial Robotics to Reduce Zika and other Threats to Public Health

Organization: WeRobotics

Location: Lima, Peru

Problem: When well integrated with other conventional control methods, the sterile insect technique (SIT) is a powerful additional tool to fight mosquitoes, allowing populations of human disease vectors to be managed with less insecticide use. However, traditional ground-based release methods are limited to areas accessible by land and it’s difficult to achieve uniform distribution.

Solution: WeRobotics in partnership with Joint Food and Agricultural Organization/International Atomic Energy Agency (FAO/IAEA) Insect Pest Control Lab (IPCL) will develop a release mechanism compatible with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to ultimately release sterilized male mosquitoes aerially. The team will conduct lab-testing and field-testing of the release mechanism. In addition, testing will be carried out to identify optimal flight parameters that UAVs need to follow in order to maximize the impact of the release mechanism. The teams will follow the WeRobotics model to accelerate and scale community-engagement through the localization and sustainable use of appropriate aerial robotics solutions.


Headshot of Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier – PhD, Columbia University School of Internal and Public Affairs; Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

"I was born and raised in Africa, and it was during my early childhood in Cote d'Ivoire and Kenya that shaped my interest in the humanitarian space. I've since been deeply involved in humanitarian technology because I've witnessed firsthand how appropriate technologies can scale the positive impact of local aid and development efforts."

Headshot of Adam Klaptocz

Adam Klaptocz – PhD, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)

"My greatest motivator is the energy and kindness of the people we are working with in the field. Given the chance and a small helping hand from grants and technological training, they can do great things to improve their own quality of life."

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