The world’s largest pest control organization is planning to use facial recognition to eradicate rats, and is currently conducting trials in people’s homes.
The software, which Rentokil began developing with Vodafone 18 months ago, tracks the habits of rodents to help decide how to kill them.
After lab trials that helped the software learn about these creatures, it’s now being used in real life.
Rodents are thought to have killed more people than all the wars in the past 1,000 years, Rentokil said.
Andy Ransom, Chief Executive Officer, told the financial times: “With facial recognition technology, you can see that mouse number one behaves differently than mouse number three.
“And the technology will always identify which rat came back, where they were eating, where they were sleeping, who caused the damage, what part of the building they came from, where did they enter the building, whether it was the last week that caused the problem It’s the same rodent.”
To develop the technology, Rentokil observed mice in a controlled environment, using cameras to monitor behavior and feed it into an AI system.
This uses machine learning to build recognition capabilities.
It has since started pilot projects in customers’ homes to test the technology, and while it’s still in its early stages, the company hopes it will make pest control more effective and efficient.
Rentokil has been developing facial recognition technology for years, but has taken it a step further after acquiring an Israeli company.