One thing that I would have thought was more obvious is remove available food to rodents. We live at the edge of town where one might expect lots of field mice, but they stay in the fields because there's simply nothing for them to eat because bins are picked up weekly, never over flowing etc. etc. Even cockroaches seem to starve to death around here. It seems like creating problems and then looking for technological solutions is a backward step.
People have also used plastics additives to lure rats rather than keep them away. Several years ago, a chocolate-flavored plastic mousetrap was announced. The plastic was impregnated with chocolate scent compounds, so it didn't require any bait. I haven't heard anything about it since it came out, so I'm assuming it wasn't commercially successful.
And, in about 5 or 10 years AFTER it has been included in a myriad of products, both industrial, commercial & residential, a research study will have concluded that it is carcinogenic, and the ingredient will be removed from the marketplace. And, all those people exposed to the chemical by whatever means, will have their long term health compromised.
I think technology like this being expanded into homes would be incredibly valuable. Everytime I've bought a home they ask for a termite inspection. And I've heard more and more stories about housing being condemned due to mold in the home. From some of the articles I've read this is becoming more and more common. So common that we should all take a moment to review our home owners' policy to see if we are covered. Because in some cases the policy specifically states that it does not cover mold.
From the infrastructure point of view something like this could help cities provide services. But to a home owner, the piece of mind knowing that the products used to manufacture the home are actually made using technology that will prevent pests from invading a home, would be worth a lot.
In a previous life, we manufactured bottles for dairy usage. It was imperative that we could not use cardboard packaging for the containers due to rodents fondness for anything paper. We were required to pack all items in bags. There were still reports of rodents chewing the bags. Use of this chemical additive in the bags would eliminate this problem which I am sure that dairys and end consumers would appreciate.
Another version of this is the boat and ship paint developed in the 1980s that includes capsaicin, the hot chemical in chile peppers. It is added to ship and boat paint to discourage mildew, fungus, as well as sea water flora and fauna. Take that, barnacles!
Wow, pretty cool and definitely high utility. Imagine applying this kind of additive technology to plastics and other materials used in large-scale construction projects or even in products used in residential homes. The long-term cost savings for consumers might command higher prices, which plays into companies' mantra to translate innovative engineering into higher corporate revenue and profits.
Given the size of the rat population, this is an important development. Are there any other animals which have a predeliction for devouring insulation, and if so is this prompting similar research into resistant materials or coatings?
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.