In recent years, Singapore has seen a steady rise in dengue cases, despite increased measures by the NEA to reduce the population of Aedes mosquitoes. Even with many solutions available in the market, dengue cases are still increasing, especially with the emergence of a rare new strain, Dengue Virus Serotype 3 (DENV-3). As of this writing, the cumulative number of cases for 2021 (for the first 18 weeks) is at 2416 cases, which translates to an average of 19 new cases per day.
Dengue Fever – a persistent problem in Singapore
“Dengue risk remains as Aedes mosquito population has grown…” - The National Environment Agency (NEA)
Deployment Trial Objectives
This has motivated the canteen to explore the use of the Dragonfly Mosquito Control Robot from Oceania Robotics in a deployment trial. Dragonfly is equipped with a fusion of sensors to operate in a public environment, and can be deployed to patrol an area autonomously. With multi-stage mosquito attractants that encompass visual cues, olfactory cues and movement, Dragonfly is an effective solution for dengue control. For this trial deployment, the team needed to confirm that the robot could traverse around the canteen autonomously, while navigating without colliding into any of the students or staff, in addition to quantifying and analysing the number of mosquitoes caught each day, all without human intervention.
Figure 1: Dragonfly patrolling at the Canteen
Results of Trial
After the three-day trial at the Canteen, Dragonfly successfully mapped the canteen and caught a total of 64 mosquitoes (Day 1: 19, Day 2: 17, Day 3: 28). During the trial, the team operated daily from 10:30 am – 10:30 pm.
Figure 2: Dragonfly’s map of the Canteen and the 3 areas with the highest number of mosquitoes caught
From the data, the areas with the highest number of mosquitoes captured were identified. This allows the canteen operators to target their mosquito-prevention efforts efficiently. For future deployments of Dragonfly over a longer period of time, such areas would indicate the presence of mosquito breeding grounds in the surroundings. This would allow the canteen to take steps to eradicate these breeding grounds, and curb the spread of dengue fever before any outbreaks occur.
Table 1: Results of Mosquito Count
Figure 3: Mosquitoes Caught on Glue Trap During The Deployment Trial
The deployment of Dragonfly at the canteen was a relatively straightforward application, as the canteen was robot-friendly, with few ramps and steps. It is a perfect example of the value proposition of using Dragonfly to control the mosquito population at a semi-outdoor area. There are several functions and features that the team is currently improving on. These include automated patrol scheduling for operation and home function, predictive maintenance for replacing all consumables, additional pest-control functions and additional security features. These new functions will be tested in future deployment trials.
Oceania Robotics looks forward to the continued partnership with the canteen. In future trials and actual deployments, Dragonfly could be used to autonomously patrol other food courts and facilities, such as student dormitories. This would allow the canteen to perform active maintenance that depend on smart real-time data, rather than performing maintenance at set time intervals, saving time and costs. We believe that the use of Dragonfly will improve the safety and well-being of the canteen's staff and students, increase productivity and ultimately reduce costs associated with dengue outbreaks.
If you are interested in deploying Dragonfly or any of our other robots at your compound or facility, feel free to reach out to us at: