The Japanese pest control company Duskin Co. has come up with a new way to safely remove wasp nests. The company developed a drone with a vacuum cleaner on board, with which the insects can be safely sucked out of their nest. The nests are then much easier to remove by pest controllers.
Vacuuming drone clears wasp nests in Japan
Between ten and twenty people die each year in Japan as a result of wasp stings. These are often the result of attempts to clear a nest, causing the wasps to show extra aggressive behaviour. In the Hygo Prefecture alone, just west of Kyoto, thousands of nests have to be cleared every year because of the nuisance caused by wasp infestations.
The wasp nests are sometimes so large, or the nests so high, that even professional pest controllers are sometimes powerless and have to refuse a job because of the risks. This gave Duskin the idea of mounting a vacuum cleaner on a drone. The company also previously developed a ground robot to suck cockroaches away.
The basis of the system is formed by a cable drone with a diameter of about 80 cm. A powerful but compact vacuum cleaner is mounted on the top, which is supplied with the required power from the ground. The contents of a nest can be vacuumed out by means of a suction mouth on an extension. A rotating head ensures that the suction mouth can also reach the nest.
According to Yusuke Saito, responsible for Duskin’s drone program, the wasps themselves lend a hand in their extermination: “As soon as wasps perceive a danger, they secrete pheromones and attack the intruder enemy in groups. By applying the pheromones to the drone, they will swarm around the device, which means that they can be eliminated even more effectively.”
Stable vacuuming drone
The drone was developed by Ishikawa Energy Research. According to sales manager Kazuki Hayashi, this system is distinguished by the very stable positioning required to fly close to a nest. The company is currently working on a new model whose suction nozzle can be operated separately from the drone.
Yusuke Saito expects an increasing demand for the vacuuming drone: “The number of foreign wasp species that nest in higher places is expanding in Japan. The use of drones will become more important in the future.”
You can read more about new drone technology here on DroneXL.
Source: Mainichi – photos: Shohei Miyamoto
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