Cyborg - lightweight portable electroantennogram (EAG) by Scion

inFact have developed in collaboration with Scion scientists, a lightweight portable electroantennogram (EAG) capable of being mounted on an unmanned aerial vehicle  (UAV) to actively search for odour traces of target insects to allow early detection and better targeted responses.

  

Scion’s scientists have proven that connecting a live insect’s antennae to the EAG can successfully sense where other insects are lurking. 

Researchers are using this technology to speed  up our biosecurity response times and help eradicate pest species  before they have an opportunity to become firmly established.

The Cyborg is at the heart of their “Toolkits for the Urban Battlefield“ programme and units have been delivered and are now being tested around the world. 

LISTEN

Scion engaged inFact to translate the functionality of its bulky laboratory test equipment into a lightweight, low cost electronic device which could maintain the high level of sensitivity required to detect live insect pheromones – the  chemical calling cards of the female.  

inFact worked with Scion to define and understand all the processes required to set up and use the EAG and a requirements specification was developed and agreed.

THINK

inFact engineers researched, innovated and experimented with a variety of new technology challenges including, solving insect mounting, making this a 15 minute task rather than several hours, an efficient ducting mechanism to provide steady flow of air over the antenna and a sophisticated low noise electronic measurement & control systems required to provide real-time analysis of signals into control commands and real time kinematics and GPS for precision location.

Using this approach researchers  could begin to understand how  insects move around and search  for each other. There is also  potential to learn how pheromone  clouds behave in the atmosphere  and how they are affected (and  diluted) by turbulence.

OUTCOME

inFact developed handheld electroantennograms for use in live insect pheromone detection  trials.

During initial testing with  gypsy moths in Canada the  EAG detected gypsy moth  pheromones 30 m from a  dispenser in a controlled environment.

Laboratory results have shown  the prototypes are impressively  sensitive and could detect one nanogram of gypsy moth  pheromones in a microlitre.
 

trialling the approach - this research could be a game changer