CMU Robotics Team’s Autonomous Robot That Staves Off Spotted Lanternflies
Don’t let these cute bugs fool you! While they may not be harmful to humans directly, spotted lantern flies can destroy crops. Since they were first spotted in Pennsylvania back in 2014, the USDA categorized them as an invasive species and urges anyone who sees them to destroy them.
Recently, a team from the Carnegie Mellon University‘s Robotic Institute developed an autonomous robot that helps regulate their population.
TartanPest uses an all-electric tractor, a robotic arm and computer vision to traverse fields and forests while it detects and destroys spotted lanternfly egg masses. The egg masses — which contain 30-50 eggs and are often found on trees, rocks, outdoor furniture and rusty metal surfaces — are laid in the fall and hatch in the spring, birthing a new generation of the pests each year.
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