WeRobotics, a nonprofit tech organization, is developing drones that will release sterilized male Mosquitoes into the wild. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) plans to breed male mosquitoes and expose them to radiation. Radiation exposure will make the males sterile and the drones will release them into the wild to breed with females, reducing the overall population. This method has proven successful against many species in the past. However, the recurring problem is the inability to access areas that have no roads or roads that are in lousy condition.

These drones may be the solution.

Constant fumigation is expensive and bad for the environment

In countries where disease is frequent, government agencies and nonprofit organizations fumigate large areas to control the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses. The heavy use of insecticide is bad for the environment, and these pesky mosquitoes are developing resistance to the chemicals, making it costly. The diseases usually form in areas that are inaccessible to cars and trucks, according to WeRobotics co-founder Adam Klaptocz. Drones will be able to fly over these areas and deploy the mosquitoes into the wild.

The challenge is storing and releasing the mosquitoes

Mosquitoes have very thin legs and wings that are damaged easily.

Finding a way to store thousands of mosquitoes into a pod without injury was tough for the tech group. Klaptocz said, "A mosquito that comes out of a drone damaged - or dead - is not going to mate with females." (BBC).

The solution was to put the mosquitoes to sleep by storing them in a container cooled between four and eight degrees Celsius.

Once asleep, they can store hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes at once. The second issue is finding a way to safely release the mosquitoes from the drones without waking them up and deploying them all at once. After several trials, the drones are now using a rotating mechanism with holes that allow an individual release of the mosquitoes.

Once released from the cooling unit, the mosquitoes sit in a secondary storage chamber that regulates their body temperature. This allows the mosquitoes to wake up and prepare for flight before they exit the drone completely.

WeRobotics plans to address local communities before releasing the mosquitoes. Since female mosquitoes are the carriers of these Diseases (only females bite and drink blood), the organizations working together will let the public know that the males being released will not harm them.

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