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28 April, 2020 - 20:23 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge AI tech tackles bed bug infestations

Cambridge-based Spotta has earned an honourable mention in the Fast Company 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards AI and Data category, flying the flag for the UK’s hottest technology cluster. 

The annual awards honour the businesses, policies, projects and concepts that are actively engaged in helping solve global challenges including the climate crisis, health and social wellbeing or economic inequality.

Designed to aid the hospitality and leisure industry in tackling the increasing challenge of bed bug infestations, Spotta’s Bed Pod was developed after years of research and development in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, low-power technologies, sensors and entomology. 

Robert Fryers, co-founder and CEO of Spotta, said: “This recognition reinforces our company’s mission which is to help the pest control industry and accommodation providers use technology to be proactive in tackling bed bugs.

“We designed the Bed Pod to help hoteliers tackle one of the costliest pests and protect their guests reducing the need for staff to conduct manual checks for bed bugs.”

CTO and co-founder Neil D’Souza-Mathew added: “Each pod is low power, running for at least a year on a single battery, with two layers of processing to identify bed bugs at all stages of their lifecycle. 

“We also utilise LoRa technology instead of less-reliable Wifi, fitting the Pods with a reliable, long-range wireless communication system which, once a bed bug is identified, alerts hotel staff to the presence of pests allowing them to act quickly to prevent an infestation.”

Now in its fourth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase finalists from a range of categories, with Health and Wellness, Corporate Social Responsibility and AI and Data among the most popular. 

A panel of eminent judges selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 3,000 global entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology and more. 

• PHOTOGRAPH: Spotta co-founders Neil D'Souza-Mathew (CTO) and Robert Fryers (CEO)

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