Institute for Plant Protection, NARO

Prediction of 3D position of pests by modelling their flight pattern

- Contributes to technological development for pest extermination by high-power lasers -

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has developed a method to predict the pest flight position. This method can detect the three-dimensional position of flying pests from the image captured by the camera and predicts its movement. It is expected that this research result will contribute to the development of a new pest control system to exterminate pests, such as irradiating a high-power laser at the predicted position.


NARO has succeeded in predicting the pest flight position by fusing the modeled flight pattern of the pest with the three-dimensional position calculated from the image captured by the stereo camera.

Efficient extermination of pests flying quickly in the air is not possible with existing pest control technologies. As an epoch-making physical method, technological development to exterminate pests with high-power lasers etc. is in progress. In order to achieve this, it was necessary to spot the exact pest location and eliminate the time lag from detection to extermination.

Therefore, we captured the flight activity of Spodoptera litura (a type of moth), a typical agricultural pest, with a stereo camera. We measured the three-dimensional position and investigated their flight pattern. Then we modeled the obtained flight pattern and developed a new method that can predict the position several steps ahead (0.03 seconds ahead) with an accuracy of about 1.4 cm from the real-time image.

It is expected to break away from dependence on pesticides by means of applying this method to technology for exterminating pests with high-power lasers, etc. Thereby we can realize sustainable agricultural production that can balance both pest control and environmental conservation. We aim for the practical utilization of the technology to exterminate pests by irradiating the predicted position with a laser by the year 2025.

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