Two companies in Singapore have partnered to apply LPWAN connectivity to the pesky problem of dealing with unwanted rodent visitors.
Cre8tec, a rodent risk management company based in Singapore, is the inventor of Ratsense, a pest management system based on infrared sensors. These sensors act as ‘electronic eyes’ that monitor and capture real-time rodent activity around the clock. That data is then sent to the cloud for analysis, in order to track and map the movement and behaviour of rats.
In this way, property and facilities managers can build up a picture of where these critters enter buildings, where they set up home and breed, and the routes they commonly use to get around. This, in turn, means traps can be laid in the best places to catch them.
But connectivity can be a challenge in these installations. Presently, Ratsense is connected to the cloud via cellular networks or Wi-Fi. But in areas where there’s no coverage – in basements, for example – transmitting data to the cloud this way is difficult or costly, or both.
That’s where Unabiz, a local IoT specialist, comes in. It has worked with Cre8tec to integrate Ratsense with Sigfox’s low-power, wide area network (LPWAN) technology, so that sensors can use this connectivity to collect and transmit that data, allowing for larger scale deployments and extending sensor battery life.
“The last two years have seen a rise in rodent activity at a global level,” said Deanne Ong, director of Cre8tec. “Rats have adapted well to urban environments, multiplying quickly in poorly managed premises. Ratsense will change how building owners globally perceive and mitigate rodent-related risks.”
According to Cre8tec, the National Environment Agency of Singapore says that the key to effective pest control is to identify the source and activity areas of rats. Monitoring of the problem, meanwhile, must be carried out on a continuous basis, so that recurrence of pests can be tackled. However, physical monitoring of large buildings is expensive and time-consuming – and inspectors are unlikely to miss rodent activities at the time of inspection. These rats aren’t stupid, after all.
Through Unabiz, Ratsense can potentially make use of the global Sigfox network, so Cre8tec is hoping to sell the system to a much wider pest management market in future. Here, it might find some competition. Pest control giant Rentokil Initial, for example, has for some time been experimenting with smart rodent traps equipped with sensors that send data to a command centre, it has built with partners Google and PA Consulting.
But for now, Cre8tec sees plenty of potential in the APAC region, according to Ong, which she sees as home to “numerous and untapped regions” for smarter pest management.