Apr 22, 2015

Visit to the Gates Foundation--Solar Powered Mosquito Zapper

Location: 440 5th Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Zapper on display at the Gates Foundation Visitor Center
During a recent trip to Seattle, I was lucky to visit a friend who works at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the Foundation's interactive Visitor Center, I couldn't help but notice a solar powered mosquito killing machine on display.

The device is assembled using cheap and available parts--a wood box, metal handles, one solar panel, a battery, multiple bug-zapping sheets, and a fan. The 20 watt solar panel (manufactured in Germany by Oceanic S

olar) powers the fan and zappers. The fan pushes out an odor (smelly socks originally) that attracts mosquitoes. They fly through the vents on the side and are electrocuted.

The brain behind the machine is Dr. Fredros Okumu of the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania. He began researching Malaria at the age of 19 and hopes to see it eradicated in his life time (Al Jazeera Lifelines). I've contacted Dr. Okumu for additional information about the zapper and will post that soon.

The mosquito zapper has received grant funding from Grand Challenges Canada and the Gates Foundation.