TSU staff is developing autonomous devices for remotely determining the number and species composition of malaria vector mosquitoes. A specially trained computer model will recognize them. The need for continuous monitoring of the dangerous insects is not only because of the severity of diseases that mosquitoes can transmit but also the fact that in recent years they have been expanding their range, moving north. Installations for automatic monitoring will significantly expand the abilities of scientists and services responsible for sanitary and epidemiological control, including in countries around the world where hundreds of thousands of people die every year from malaria.
To monitor the situation and respond in a timely manner to the emergence of new species and pathogens, constant monitoring is necessary. It is often complicated by difficult access to bodies of water where malaria mosquitoes live and breed. Researchers are now developing an autonomous system for monitoring the number of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
The monitoring system will be located on the surface of the water. The design of the device includes a camera that for shooting the surface of the water in a given mode, will automatically transfer images to the TSU server. According to them, we can estimate the number of larvae of malaria vector mosquitoes that are on the surface, using artificial intelligence (AI). A specially created computer model will be taught to distinguish larvae of the mosquitoes from other objects of an animate and inanimate nature. Machine learning will be carried out on specially selected photo materials, after which they will test on the latest data how much AI has learned the information. According to the scientists, the recognition accuracy should be at least 95%.
Such devices may be particularly in demand by African countries, where malaria remains one of the common causes of death. According to the World Health Organization report, in 2018, 228,000,000 people fell ill with malaria all over the world, 405,000 people died. Children under the age of 5 are particularly susceptible to malaria; in 2018, they accounted for 67% (272,000) of all deaths from malaria.