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Project Information / Information sur le projet
Possible technologies involved / Technologies possibles impliquées: Not informed / Pas informé
Project Type / Type de projet : General
Expected prototype budget / Budget prévu pour le prototype: Not available
Expected project cost / Coût prévu du projet cost: $50
Client Information / Information sur le client
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Project background / Contexte du projet
  • Widespread declines in insect populations are now evident across many habitats 
  • Evidence for these declines have primarily been based on long-term data collected by researchers – work which can often be time, energy, and resource-intensive 
  • Recently, community science efforts and contributions to biodiversity monitoring from members of the public is becoming recognized as an extremely valuable source of data in terms of tracking biodiversity trends 
  • Contributions from the public to biodiversity monitoring has become much easier in recent years with the development of hugely successful mobile apps such as iNaturalist, BumblebeeWatch, Ebird, eButterfly etc. in which users can upload photos of wildlife to a server, and observations can be verified by researchers 
  • While these servers have contributed immensely to biodiversity monitoring, there are obvious biases: 
  • One example is that observations of small animals or those that are more difficult to photograph are rarely uploaded; for example, photos of bumblebees (which are relatively large insects) are much more frequently submitted compared to photos of small sweat bees, even though the latter are actually much more numerous in the environment 
  • Moreover, when photos of smaller insects are submitted, they are often of poor quality because many of the smaller insects tend to be more active and less likely to stand still enough for a good photo 
  • This makes it difficult for experts to identify smaller insects based on submitted photos 
What we need is a way for community scientists to be able photograph small insects and produce better quality photos of small insects (or other organisms) using what they have (i.e. a smart phone, not a fancy camera).

The goal is for a contraption to be built such that 
[1] users can capture the insect without harming them 
[2] the space within the contraption is adjustable based on the size of the insect (i.e. we want to constrict the space within the contraption so that small insects won’t move around so much), and 
[3] there is a transparent pane so that the insect can be photographed (before being released back into the wild).

Past attempts / Tentatives précédentes
There has been no previous attempt to solving this problem. / Il n'y a pas de tentatives précédentes pour résoudre ce problème.

MakerCon- Photobooth for small insects
Feb 26 2023