Star Wars in food stores – automated detection, determination and laser elimination of insect pests
In a project supported by funds of the German government (PT BLE), we test a mobile camera system, scanning surfaces in storage warehouses or food processing industry. If insects are detected they are compared with morphological data in store to decide if the detected individual is a target pest. In case a target pest is determined with high probability, a laser beam is directed to the target to eliminate the insect by heat. The concept is to develop a system that is able to learn and identify more and more different species over time. First aims of the project are to improve reliability of species detection and identification in contrast to the grain with different light spectra and camera parameters. Reaction tests under different light conditions of the two exemplary insects grain weevil Sitophilus granarius (Col., Curculionidae) and Indianmeal moth Plodia interpunctella (Lepid., Pyralidae) will be carried out. Further the project will investigate laser beam wavelengths and intensities not damaging surfaces and items beneath or next to targets. The system could be utilized to support IPM in well-sealed structures for storage or processing of food and feed stuffs.