Look out, skeeters—the drones are coming.
As part of a campaign to raise awareness of the health risks of climate change, White House officials this week highlighted a Microsoft project to robotically stalk mosquitoes and warn against the spread of insect-borne diseases.
“In order to improve disease surveillance systems’ ability to detect disease emergence prior to an outbreak, Microsoft Research is prototyping an experimental autonomous system to help detect pathogens in the environment before they infect people,” a White House fact sheet said. “This effort envisions drone-deployed devices that can collect mosquitoes autonomously and conduct gene-sequencing and pathogen detection computationally.”
Diseases spread by insects are just one of the many risks associated with a warming planet, and the intriguing Microsoft project is just one of dozens of ventures the White House is encouraging.