Die, termitide, die

Australian company turns thermo-robocam loose on termites.

It's a common combat-after-dark feature on YouTube: the greenish, hot white blob--representing the human circulation system--bolts from cover and is promptly cut in half by 20mm fire.

Now that same thermal imaging technology is lighting up some even tougher foes, termites.


The Australian company Termicam presents Termibot, a thermal video equipped robot that searches out termite nests by homing in on their thermal signature--and it does it without tearing your house apart. That's right, the heat generated by these busy little buggers shows up right through the baseboards.

Thermographic devices detect infrared radiation emitted by an object based on its temperature. This makes it possible to "see" in the dark. Be it an engine block, Habib the Beheader, or a termite colony, if it's warm it'll stand out against the cooler background and offer an easy target.

Once the robot locates the termitide, it breaks open the nest and hoses it with poison for the quick kill.

Currently, the Termibot is operated via umbilical cables, but the company expects to go wireless soon. Apparently, the technology is so effective that it's been used from the air to pick up termite mounds in the Outback.

About the author

    The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at markr@milapp.com. Disclosure.


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