Design and manufacture of electronic fly trap

February 5, 2018

The Ceratitis capitata  (also called the Mediterranean fruit fly) is an Invasive species that attacks fruit such as citrus, apple, pear, pomegranate, peach, plum and more, despite its name, the fly's origin is in West Africa.

Due to the great damage caused by this fly, successful attempts have been made to exterminate it in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, etc. In Israel there are many attempts to eradicate it due to the massive damage it cause agriculture crops.

There is great  importance in eradicating this fly, since the fly is considered to be a quarantine pest, meaning that every shipment of fruit exported abroad must be checked for this harmful fly, which results in huge costs.

As part of the Ministry of Agriculture's efforts to solve this harmful issue, the Volcani Institute is developing a fly monitoring system. Volcani engineers designed an image processing software that analyzes a sticky trap every few hours inside a fly trap, and "counts" how many of these kinds of flies were trapped during a given time.

Inside the trap itself sits a raspberry pi-based system with a rechargeable battery charged via a solar panel. Several times a day the computer turns on, takes a picture, and sends it through a cellular component to a remote computer.

The remote computer performs digital image processing to the image developed by the Volcani engineers in order to find the number of flies and to differentiate between the different types of flies captured in the same image. In this way, the processing is done on a remote computer, thus saving processing time and power consumption of the computer integrated to the trap, resulting in a small, low energy consumption trap that can be operated for long periods of time without installing infrastructure or maintaining, charging or replacing batteries

 

Trixel Engineering was asked by the Volcani Institute to design the trap itself, and to minimize it as possible, also to allow the installation of all the electronic components provided by the Volcani Institute and not to interfere with the correct operation of fly trap.

 

 After designing all the mechanical components and the trap envelope, it was printed using a 3D printer. Two generations of traps were designed and manufactured by Trixel Engineering. The trap itself was tested in the field and proved to be effective in capturing flies for research purpose.

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