|Hourhouse (United Kingdom)|
Pocket Venus Fly Trap
Have you ever been bothered by a persistent fly at work or out in a restaurant? Here's a fun solution. I could see this going viral with 'user' videos of people having fun with it (like the chewbacca mask).
Imagine a package the size of a tin of travel sweets, those little round pocket size ones. You take the lid off (and clip it underneath maybe) to reveal the trap. Maybe design and badge it to look like travel sweets, as a gimmick.
The trap consists of two hinged semicircular spring loaded flaps, with a soft plastic coating impregnated with a smell. A subtle smell designed to attract a fly without putting you off your food. The flaps are maybe flexible, maybe rigid, fringed with some sort of interlocking edge. The fringed edge will help prevent the fly escaping when the trap is triggered. When open, a narrow slot in the middle (between the flaps) allows dead flies to drop down into the base. In the centre of the slot is an electronic eye which scans (within the fringe) for movement. Design options here suggest a fly trap replica or a cartoon mouth fringed with vicious (but soft) teeth.
To set or reset the trap, the flaps are manually opened against a spring (or springs). This tensions the spring(s) which lock in place when the flaps are (near) horizontal. Maybe a small tab on the outside/top edge of the flaps, outside the fringe, would make this easier. The trip mechanism must be gentle enough not to hurt small inquisitive fingers but strong enough to kill a fly.
The fly, attracted by the smell, approaches and hopefully lands on one of the flaps. The electronic eye detects movement within the area of the trap and triggers a mechanism which releases the spring(s), allowing the flaps to spring closed, vertically, trapping and squishing the fly.
As an option, a small switched led in the centre may also attract moths in the dark.
A small rechargeable battery in the base powers the device, with a USB port for charging.
An easily accessible physical switch will turn the device off, so the flaps can be opened and cleaned without tripping the mechanism. Maybe a 3 way switch fitting through a slot in the side of the tin/case. Switch positions could be: up for on with a 'moth led', centre for on and down for off. Replacing the lid could automatically push the switch down, turning it off and locking it.
The dead fly may need to be pushed down the centre slot if it doesn't fall down. Maybe a comedy plastic shovel could be clipped inside the lid for this. The trap mechanism should be easily removable from the tin/case to give access for cleaning and battery replacement, and the unit would need to be switched off to prevent activation while cleaning.
Not just practical, but cheap to make, a fun conversation piece and comedy gold - especially if it works as expected!
Reward: If it takes off, I'd appreciate a few to hand out to friends, depending on how successful it is.