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?
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.