Company helps exterminate rats with facial recognition

Pest control group Rentokil has developed a system that is being tested in homes, food businesses and offices.

Utilize facial recognition to tackle a global problem. Rentokil, the largest pest control group in the world, uses this technology to exterminate rats, reports the Guardian. With the British operator Vodafone, the company has developed a facial recognition system which is currently being tested in homes, food shops and offices.

Concretely, the technology makes it possible to follow the behaviors of each rodent and provides real-time analysis using artificial intelligence (AI). It is thus possible to see where they come from, where they feed or even where they sleep, but also that a rat behaved differently compared to another, as explained Andy Ransom, director General of Rentokil, FinancialTimes. A central group command center can then decide where and how to kill them.

A developing technology

Rentokil has been working on this technology for several years. To develop it, she observed rats in a controlled environment, with cameras monitoring their behaviors. An AI system was then fed with this data, developing recognition capabilities using machine learning. The company further strengthened its tool with the acquisition of the Israeli market leader in December, a transaction which gave it access to a “significant technology”according to Andy Ransom.

With its system, Rentokil targets “cities of the future” in countries that may soon experience a pest population boom, such as Indonesia, China, India and Latin America. “If you can identify the cities that are going to experience a massive increase in population, you can conclude that they are going to have significant rodent problems”explained the general manager of the company.

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