Nov 10, 2010. RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) The University of California, Riverside announced today that it has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will support an innovative global health research project conducted by Eamonn Keogh , a professor of computer science and engineering in the Bourns College of Engineering, titled "Counting and classifying insects with ultra-cheap sensors."
... Working with his post-doctoral student, Gustavo Batista, an assistant professor at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and Agenor Mafra-Neto, CEO/president of ISCA Technologies, a commercial entomology company in Riverside, Keogh has shown that simple sensors, made from modified laser pointers purchased at a 99 cent store, can measure insects wing beat frequency from a distance, and this information can be used to distinguish at least some insects species. The grant will fund further work that will allow more species of insects to be classified from a greater distance.
Keogh's project is one of 65 grants announced by the Gates Foundation in the fifth funding round of Grand Challenge Explorations, an initiative to help scientists around the world explore bold and largely unproven ways to improve health in developing countries. The grants were provided to scientists in 16 countries on five continents.