Photonic Fence Interactive CD-ROM

…well, minus the CD-ROM. The slideshow gives a rundown of the Photonic Fence’s mechanics and envisioned uses. Enjoy…unless you’re on a Flash-hating iPad ;)

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  1. james
    Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I want. How do I buy?

  2. Big
    Posted April 15, 2010 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Would such a device be effective at targetting and killing something like mites that infect bee’s perhaps?

  3. pstanton
    Posted April 18, 2010 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    this product raises concerns about bio-diversity.

  4. Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I forget where I first heard about the laser fence (Photonic Fence) – maybe a global health lecture, or maybe through a TED alum… anyway, I’m an Aspie so naturally as soon as I heard about this really neat new thing I went to work (mentally anyway) figuring out how something like that might work.

    I decided that since the male and female mosquitoes are different masses they would likely flap their wings at different frequency ranges, which could then be tracked with a lock-in amplifier connected to some cleverly situated audio transverses, or other sensing devices. This was at least the first blush I gave it anyway, following my initial ‘how might that work’ type thoughts I had some other random thoughts like “oh, I bet there will be a nice predictable distribution of dead mosquitoes along the fence line… maybe biased towards the inside because their component velocity inward is likely greater than zero?” which eventually got me thinking about selective pressures.

    To give a little background (setting the table, as my wife likes to say) my cousin, Thea Norman, came up with some really cool ideas about applying selective pressures to single celled organisms to get them to produce compounds of interest to humans. That idea eventually became Microbia, which eventually became Ironwood. So long story short I’ve had a few conversations with her about this topic.

    I starting thinking about the potential effects of a selective pressure on a population of mosquitoes – in particular the female progeny bearing part of the population…

    Let’s say as a thought experiment that we actually wanted to go about changing a species of mosquito so that the males and females had the same unladen mass (i.e. no blood sucked yet) but more importantly the same wing frequency. One might envision a scenario where you created an apparatus to detect and kill a portion of the female population while simultaneously leaving untouched all females that exhibited a wing beat frequency identical (or close enough) to that of the males.

    In this scenario I could envision a lighter weight female that had a selective advantage over her heavier counterparts. This newer lighter female’s progeny would also have a higher likelihood of carrying this ‘lightness’ trait, cycle after cycle until a significant portion of the female mosquito population in an area was indistinguishable (from a beat frequency detector perspective anyway) from the males.

    At that point something like the Photonic Fence becomes much less effective a preventing the spread of malaria. This is of course a simplistic example based on some assumptions that may or may not be factual, but it’s the concept that I wanted to share – with the hopes of starting a dialog.

    I don’t even know if anyone at IV even reads these posts – other than Mr. Vu, bless his heart – but I enjoy thinking about these sorts of things, so please feel free to contact me directly if a dialog needs to happen offline.

    Sean Conner

  5. Nolan
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I really like the Flash demo that you guys put up! I understand the uses of a polygonal mirror for horizontal beam steering, but what component are you able to utilize that will do the corresponding vertical deflection for a $50 end-unit cost? (Last time I checked, galvanometers were a bit beyond that price point)

    All the technology that you guys developed out of re-purposed electronics is just amazing! I wish you the best of luck as you go forward :)

  6. Posted May 19, 2010 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    This is really an original use of lasers ! If this system is really working, it’s an amazing combination of LED, optical sensor and Laser.

  7. Stephen Cobb
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    What prevents the skeeters from flying over the fence & down into the site?

    • Pablos
      Posted May 24, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Mosquitoes stay close to the ground, because they’re looking for humans or food. So the photonic fence doesn’t really need a roof.

  8. Nick Vu
    Posted June 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    You can find cheap galvos out there that get the job done.

  9. Buffy
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    hmmm, is that Dianna Agron from Glee narrating this video? Her voice sounds similar. Anyway, cool laser fence!!!

  10. Jason
    Posted March 15, 2012 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    What about the nuisance unwanted neighbors? :) Seriously though this looks, in concept, to be a great idea to protect crops so that pesticides would not have to be used.

  11. Ronen Cohen
    Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink


    I wonder does the photonics fence is available as a commercial product?

    Please advise,



    • Katie Miller
      Posted September 12, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your interest. We don’t have any plans at this time to commercialize the photonic fence. For now, we’re focused on developing a version of the device that can be used to battle malaria in developing countries.

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