This lanternfly-egg-hunting robot could mean you have to squish fewer bugs

Saturday, June 10, 2023 - 06:03 in Biology & Nature

That pop of color on the adult spotted lanternfly is a warning to predators—and property owners. Stephen Ausmus/USDA It’s that time of the year again. The invasive, crop-damaging spotted lanternflies are emerging, as they typically do in springtime. You may already start to see some of the polka-dotted nymphs out and about. As with the adult lanternflies, the advice from experts is to kill them on sight.  But another way to prevent these pests from spreading is to scrape off and kill the egg masses that these bugs leave on wood, vehicles, and furniture. Inspecting every tree and every surface for lanternfly eggs is no fun task. That’s why a team of undergraduate engineering students at Carnegie Mellon University programmed a robot, called TartanPest, to do it.  TartanPest was designed as a part...

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