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Why Roboplant Isn’t Ready To Stop Flies Yet

With summer around the corner, food preparation areas are set to be more prone to unwelcome visits by flies than ever. As well as looking for something to feed on themselves, the germ-carrying bugs will also be looking for places to lay their eggs so that their offspring have something to munch on in the larval stage.


If the threat to kitchen hygiene wasn’t bad enough, visitors to hospitality venues will often be bothered by insects themselves, whether it is something big, yellow and black with a nasty sting or swarms of blood-sucking midges.


All this means now is a good time to get an electric fly killer.


Of course, there may be some enterprising folk who might hope to find a ‘natural’ solution. It’s true that having bats and other insectivorous animals living close by may help, but it won’t eliminate the problem (or they would run out of food).


Then there are plants. Carnivorous plants like Venus flytraps and sundews will also reduce the local insect population, but sadly not enough.


That may come as a disappointment to those reading news of a remarkable scientific breakthrough, in which an artificial neuron – a tiny electrical device that transmits signals – has been successfully implanted in a Venus flytrap, demonstrating its capacity by prompting the movements of the spring-loaded trap.


However, the aim is not to create Roboplant. The idea is to develop implants that can help human brains regain nerve functions, an exciting and thought-provoking possibility in itself, even if it won’t turn the Venus Flytrap into an active carnivorous cyber-vegetable that will hunt down and terminate flies like SkyNet after a botany class.


However, that should not come as too much of a blow, since electrical fly killers already offer quite enough technology to annihilate airborne pests.


So while the dream of keeping the bugs at bay using robot killer plants may still be some way off, you can still say ‘Hasta la Vista’ to any pests that come flying your way this summer.

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