A revolutionary pest trap based on artificial intelligence is under trial. The fully automated Critter Solutions Kill Trap triggers only when a target has been identified by AI as a pest species. So the likes of Kea and Kaka are safe while rats and stoats would be history. The traps are ultra-low power, self-resetting, and self-luring – so are designed to be left in the field for long periods without servicing. Project lead Dr Helen Blackie from Boffa Miskell says these next generation AI traps are the “holy grail for pest eradication and a game-changer, not only for Aotearoa, but worldwide”. She says they effectively ‘think for themselves’ and make decisions as to whether an interacting animal is a target pest species or not. The trap is extremely fast at triggering when an animal is recognised – within a fraction of a second – after detecting the presence of a pest. Traditional traps also require the pest to push, pull or stand on a trigger to activate which can further reduce catch-rates, but by using AI the manual triggers are done away with completely. The traps notify the user that it has triggered and send a picture of the animal it’s triggered on. The Critter Solutions Species Specific Kill Trap is expected to be ready for sale by late 2024.