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Smart Hound™ uses trained insects - Sensor Bugs™ - to detect the presence of bed bugs and other household nuisances that pose a danger to human health.
Laboratory Z
Cary, North Carolina
United States
10 Team Members


Smart Hound™ technology has been featured in


Bed Bugs in the Elderly Care Community: There is a 33% chance that any given senior citizen will enter a nursing home facility and a greater than 50% chance that he or she will live in some form of assisted or independent living facility. Nursing homes account for 18% of all Bed Bug infestations!

Bed Bugs love to live, breed, and feed in multi-unit dwellings - this is why elderly care facilities have been hit so hard. Odds are you know someone that has been or will be affected by the growing bed bug epidemic in Senior Care Facilities. 

Our Mission:  To use our technology - Smart Hound™ - to preserve the wellbeing of senior citizens by continuous, precision inspection for bed bugs and other pests harmful to human health BEFORE they become a problem for your friends - your family - yourself.  Early detection is key to quick and successful elimination. 

Little has been done to curb the rise of Bed Bugs due to embarrassment, lack of knowledge, and apathy. Our dedicated and professional team needs YOUR help to FIGHT FOR OUR SENIOR CITIZENS! 

Our Plan:  With your help, we will begin the process of eliminating bed bugs from Senior Living and Senior Care Facilities. In the greater Raleigh-Durham (Triangle Region), North Carolina area alone, we have identified 127 facilities that would benefit from our services. With a successfull Indiegogo campaign, we will work with 20 of these facilities and begin FREE scanning twice each over a two month period. Our staff will personally travel to these facilities and work with their employees and residents to determine if and where bed bugs are present. Depending on the wishes of the individual facilities, we can accomplish this openly or discretely (without the public or residents aware of our presence). We believe that this free service for that time period will put in motion a future model for helping Senior Care Facilities across the nation.

As stretch goals (see below), we will increase the number of facilites serviced and we will provide free units to a specific county health department in New Jersey that has shown great interest in becoming our beta tester for Smart HoundTM. (Name withheld for privacy.) 

Your contributions will enable us to create more Smart HoundTM units, rear and train enough Sensor Bugs™ to populate each unit, travel to at least 20 Senior Care Facilities around the greater Raleigh-Durham Triangle region, run tests for beg bugs, compile reports for each facility, and work to move Smart HoundTM to the national stage so that everyone can benefit from bed bug elimination! 

Join the Smart HoundTM movement in putting an end to the uncertainty and difficulty in detecting bed bugs in Senior Care Facilities – a need is out there… and you can help provide the solution:  

Smart HoundTM 

Testimonials and News: 

According to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living on August 10, 2012, reports from the University of Kentucky show that “nursing homes account for about 18% of all bed bug infestations.” See More » 

"We've had some concerns before, but not to this degree," she said. "We feel it (bed bug infestations) has gotten out of hand." -Wanda Marino, assistant director for social work at DSS. See More » 

“…given the difficulties of recognizing the problem and of detecting bed bugs, I hope that city agencies will become more proactive — especially when it comes to housing for senior citizensThey need to know that they may not feel any bed bug bites or see any bed bugs…First, many people with bed bugs do not react to bed bug bites. Others will react but not see bed bugs. Fewer will react to bed bug bites, see bed bugs, and report them.”- Stephen Kells, University of Minnesota (Entomologist: Bed Bug researcher) See More » 

"Nowadays people travel all over the world and visitors come in...It is impossible to determine the point of origin." – Gerald Wingate See More » 

"People are moving in and moving out...I think that is where they come from. …What you want to watch for is reoccurrence." – Gill Meadows See More »




Smart Hound™ is a biology-based technology capable of detecting a large number of chemical agents in an effort to preserve human health. For this project, we are focusing on detecting bed bugs (specifically in elderly care facilities) and future goals of detecting breast cancer. Keep scrolling down to read about the future of DISEASE AND CANCER  DETECTION as well as our stretch goals. And don't forget the perks! Pics of our PERKS ARE AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.


THE PROBLEM - Bed Bugs are bad news. Really bad news.

If you are reading this, then you have blood flowing through your veins and bed bugs want a drink. There is a good statistical chance that they will get the opportunity at some point. Bed bugs are equal opportunity feeders. They do not care if you are Democrat or Republican. They do not care if you are in the 1% or the 99%. They do not care if you are staying in the one-star or five-star hotels. They do not care what nationality, race, or religion you are. If you have blood, they want some. 

Bed bugs can wait for a long time without feeding– months if needed – and hide in a variety of hard to reach places such as mattress seams, wall outlet boxes, headboards, movie theater seats, car seats, office carpet, suitcases, and so on. 

While we are having fun with this project, the impact of bed bugs on people is no laughing matter – especially those who are defenseless against these insects like the baby in the picture below and some of the elderly in retirement or care homes.



Current Methods for Bed bug Detection are Limited and Expensive

Determining if bed bugs are in your home requires extensive and expensive inspection either by humans or dogs, both of which must be trained professionals.

Availability: The most limiting factor of current inspection techniques is that they cannot be performed all the time. It is not practical for you to have a trained exterminator inspect your hotel room prior to every hotel visit, or inspect your apartment every week in case bedbugs have crawled through the walls or down the hall from a neighbor. Smart Hound™ has the potential to allow you, elderly care facilitiy staff, hotel staff, or apartment superintendents to scan frequently – even daily!

If we find that consumers want the ability to monitor for bedbugs on a frequent basis and we roll out a consumer-ready version, Smart Hound™ will be a fraction of the cost. BUT WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU THAT CONSUMERS WANT OUR SOLUTION…which is described in the next section.


SMART HOUND™ TO THE RESCUE – An Unexpected Solution

We are using Sensor Bugs™ - small, harmless, flying insects that are indigenous to the United States – to literally sniff out bedbugs – and much more! We have proven in the lab that Sensor Bugs™ can smell and respond to bed bugs, termites, fungus, explosives, drugs, and all kinds of chemical markers. In fact, in some tests they went head to head with trained dogs and beat them repeatedly.

Since Smart Hound™ can identify chemicals in the range of parts per billion, and in some cases parts per trillion, its detection ability is as good as or better than a dog giving the consumer the ability to detect as good as a dog – in the palm of your hand. And we put 5 Sensor Bugs™ in every cartridge which means it is like having 5 trained dogs in the palm of your hand. If one has a false positive or false negative, there are 4 more to back it up!


The Benefits

The electronic Smart Hound™ device that holds the Sensor Bugs™ is portable, easy to use and we believe will positively identify infestations before they get out of control. This can lower extermination costs and increase efficiency by focusing on the specific location where the bed bugs are located. By targeting the right location and only the right location, treatment will be faster and reduce the amount of pesticide used (a good thing for exterminators). It would also reduce the amount of residual pesticide in a home (a good thing for homeowners). We believe Smart Hound™ could have tremendous impact if widely used!

1 - Give people peace of mind that they do not have bed bugs in their home / apartment / hotel room.

2 – Help eliminate bedbugs from a wide area (e.g. an entire city) if many people were scanning for bed bugs at once.

3 – Allow facility operators to ensure their multi-unit dwelling is bed bug free (this would also reduce lawsuits).

4 – Increase exterminator business because people are actively seeking out infestation on a routine basis.

The Smart Hound™ program used to determine bed bug presence.The Smart Hound™ program used to determine bed bug presence.


How It Works- Incredibly Simple, Incredibly Elegant Advanced Technology

The Sensor Bugs™ are trained in our lab (so they are pre-trained before you receive the cartridge) to associate food with the scent we want them to detect. We use a small plastic cartridge that contains 5 Sensor Bugs™. They gather around an air inlet in the cartridge when they detect the scent they are trained to. The Smart Hound™ device automatically detects this movement. The current prototype can be plugged into a USB port on any standard PC. The next generation version will have a built in microprocessor.

The two videos in the Gallery (see Gallery tab at the top of this page) show our Sensor Bugs™ in action! The first video shows the Sensor Bugs™ wandering around as bugs do. They are searching for food - notice how their search is fairly random. Air is continually flowing through an inlet hole in the middle of the cartridge - but the Sensor Bugs™ are not taking any notice.

In the second video, the scent the Sensor Bugs™ are trained to is introduced into the air flow. See for yourself that as fast as 5 seconds it is very clear that the Sensor Bugs™ cluster around the air inlet. This movement is automatically detected by the Smart Hound™ technology that is holding the Sensor Bug™ cartridge.


And it's not just for bed bugs...

Given the device's unique ability to detect even the smallest chemical signatures, Smart Hound™ can be used for more than just household pests and bedbugs. In the future, our vision is for customers to order cartridges as needed to detect mold or mildew, air contaminants, toxic chemicals, or peanut contamination in food, or any number of other applications.  We are always open to customer suggestions regarding applications we have not considered!



Since the Sensor Bugs™ only live a couple of weeks and are good for a few days when they arrive ready for use, our vision is that the future Smart Hound™ offering will be an online ordering service that will allow our customers easy access for the detection of bed bugs and new cartridges for other things like termites, mold, etc.  So a detection cartridge filled with pre-trained Sensor Bugs™ will only be a mouse click and overnight shipping away.

This will be particularly useful for travelers who may want to pack a Smart Hound™ device for when you arrive at a hotel in say New York or San Francisco. You could simply get online and order a Sensor Bug™ cartridge to be delivered to the hotel where they are staying. The package would be waiting for you at the front desk when they arrive. You can scan your room and then rest easy knowing no bed bugs are in the room...or run far away from the bed bug-infested hotel if you find them! That is our future vision and we are starting with you! We need to know the public wants this technology available! And the only way we will know is if you pledge today!


Cancer and Disease Detection

A growing body of medical research shows that dogs, African pouch rates, bees, and yes, Sensor Bugs™ can detect a myriad of diseases by smell - such as melanoma (skin cancer), tuberculosis, colorectal cancer, and others.  Our estimates show that for current laboratory diagnostic tests that cost around $10,000, the Smart Hound™ system could reduce that cost to less than $100. A lot of work remains to refine processes and run tests in a clinic setting, but we believe we are about to see the start of a diagnostic revolution through the use of Smart Hound™. Rest assured we are exploring this area carefully. A strong showing here on IndieGoGo will help accelerate our plans in the disease detection arena as well. 


We Need YOUR Help!

We have approached the hotel chains and we have not received much interest. So we decided to ask consumers – the crowd – YOU! If you would like the ability to scan for bed bugs. The way to give us your “yes” is to pledge NOW! We need financial support to help take the prototype to the next level with new molds and microprocessor-based computing instead of a laptop. We also need some field testers - MEANING YOU!  If you pledge at the Research Assistant Level and above, we will provide you with all the tools you need to conduct research and report back to us. This includes a Smart Hound™ beta device and cartridges to test for bed bugs in a location of your choosing.  Whether you use it in your own home, apartment complex, a local nursing home, business, etc., the data you collect and report to us will help Laboratory Z bring the Smart Hound™ technology to the consumer market. NOTE – A REQUIREMENT TO BE PART OF THE RESEARCH TEAM AT THE RESEARCH ASSISTANT AND ABOVE LEVELS IS THAT YOU AGREE TO SEND US THE RESULTS OF YOUR TESTING WITH NO RESTRICTIONS ON USE. THIS IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT FOR US TO MOVE THE PROJECT FORWARD AND WE SINCERELY APPRECIATE YOUR HELP!



Tweet, Post, Like us on Facebook,“LinkedIn Us” (we’re not sure how to say that last one as a verb!), email your friends – or go old school and call someone or talk about us over coffee!

As an additional reward for your zealotry in fighting the bed bug menace, we offer these stretch goals and rewards:

STRETCH GOAL 1: $150,000 – when we reach $150,000 all Research Assistant Level and above supporters get an additional bed bug sensing cartridge at no additional cost. In addition, we will increase our Free Senior Facility scanning to 25 facilities.

STRETCH GOAL 2: $250,000 - Insects for everyone! If you have pledged at Corporal Level or above, you will receive one free, gently used Sensor Bug™ (yes – it will have already passed on). In addition, we will increase our Free Senior Facility scanning to 35 facilities.

STRETCH GOAL 3: $400,000 – At this level, we will provide Smart Hound units to elderly care facilities to a previously indentified county in New Jersey that has shown great interest in searching for bed bugs. This will be at no cost to the facilities, the county, or the state. We will take care of all the costs and scanning. For the time being, we are withholding specifics of the county for privacy reasons.



Laboratory Z at Bennett Aerospace is a laboratory of innovation intended to mold cutting-edge ideas into realities that are at the forefront of technological evolution. The innovators of Z focus on projects with a short timeline from concept to creation for rapid impact and maximum societal benefit. Z does not limit thinking or imagination. Z encourages creativity and experimentation. Z sees no limits only opportunities.




REWARDS (located along right-side of page)

PLEDGE NOW AND PICK A REWARD! Here are the pics of the awesome rewards we are offering! As stated above, a requirement to be part of the research team at the Research Assistant and above levels is that you agree to send us the results of your testing with no restrictions on use. This is critically important for us to move the project forward and WE SINCERELY APPRECIATE YOUR HELP!

Corporal Level

Sergeant Level

Master Sergeant Level

Bottom view may not display correct color.Bottom view may not display correct color.
Bottom view may not display correct color.Bottom view may not display correct color.
Bottom view may not display correct color.Bottom view may not display correct color.

Lieutenant Level

Limited Edition Bennett Aerospace Mug. MADE IN THE USA! LIMIT OF 100.
Limited Edition Bennett Aerospace Mug. MADE IN THE USA! LIMIT OF 100.


Q: How long do the insects live?

A: Sensor Bugs™ live for approximately 2 weeks. If we chill them down in a refrigerator, they can live much longer. That is why we plan to ship them chilled if needed.

Q: Are Sensor Bugs™ dangerous?

A: No. Sensor Bugs™ are harmless. Entomologist carry them into kindergarten classrooms and let them crawl all over the kids' arms to show off interesting insects.

Q: Do I have to touch the insects?

A: No. You would only touch a plastic cartridge that contains the insects. We are still deliberating on if the cartridges should be clear (so you can see the Sensor Bugs™) or closed in so the insects can not be seen.

Q: Is “Sensor Bug” their real name?

A: “Sensor Bug” is not their original name – they have a scientific Latin name that is difficult to pronounce – so we gave them a name. It was either “Earl” or “Sensor Bugs” so we went with Sensor Bugs™.

Q: Will we be able to get refill cartridges in the future?

A: We hope to offer the units to the consumer in the future. But that is dependent on if we get enough response from the public to justify starting a product line where we offer the Smart Hound™ technology directly to consumers. If we do offer them to the consumer in the future, we will ensure that units you receive as part of the experimental team will also work with future cartridges.

Q: What do we do after we have used the Sensor Bugs™?

A: You can set them free if they are still alive. They are indigenous to the United States. If they have died, you can discard them in the trash. In the future we hope to be able to recycle the cartridges.

Q: Where do you get your Sensor Bugs™?

A: Our team rears them. They are going extinct in the wild. In 10 years it is highly likely these insects will only exist in captivity.



TRAIN A SENSOR BUG!!! – WE ARE TYPING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE YOU DESERVE THE RECOGNITION AT THIS ELITE OF THE ELITE LEVELS! You will receive Platinum Level Sponsor Recognition with your name and logo of your company (again – family crest will work as well!), plus everything in the Gold Sponsor level, PLUS a trip for two to Cary, North Carolina (from the lower 48 States only and Sensor Bugs can only ship to the lower 48 States at this time). We will pick you and your guest up from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, provide you one hotel room for two nights THAT WE WILL PERSONALLY SCAN FOR BEDBUGS. The Director of our Advanced Technology Division will provide you a brief on the company and our other research endeavors. Plus--here's the exciting part--you’ll also get a chance to train a real live Sensor Bug!! You’ll receive local lab tours and have dinner on us along with the Bennett Aerospace CEO and/or President.

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raised in 2 months
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$100,000 USD goal
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This campaign ended on January 15, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Inspector Level

    Thank you for becoming a part of the Smart Hound™ Movement! We extend our hearty thanks by shouting your name from a moving vehicle (specifically on Hillsborough St., Raleigh, North Carolina, USA). You will also receive updates on the Smart Hound™ development and future consumer product announcements.

    10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2013
  • $26USD
    Corporal Level

    Goofy pop pen with the Bennett Aerospace logo [style may vary]. Scroll to the bottom of our Indiegogo page for photos of these SUPER COOL rewards. Plus all levels Corporal and above get the Inspector Level reward! AND CHECK OUT THE STRETCH GOALS IN THE MAIN WRITE UP. Add $7 to ship outside USA.

    6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $45USD
    Sergeant Level

    Tee-Shirts!! – You can receive an AWESOMELY cool tee-shirt to show your pride in supporting this AWESOME project (Scroll to the bottom of the project to see the pics of numerous AWESOME designs to choose from). We offer styles to appeal to both men and women! And the stretch goals in the main write up apply as well. Add $10 to ship outside the USA.

    6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $48USD
    Master Sergeant Level

    PICK ONE! (A) BALL CAP-Comfortable Lab Z Flexfit ballcap or retro "trucker's cap&"; (B) FLAT BRIM CAP – unique! you will stand out in the crowd; (C) INSULATED CUP - Raise your Bennett Aerospace tumbler to a bed bug free world; (D) SENSOR BUGS - Receive your very own vial of sensor bugs that have done their duty in service to humankind and passed on. Can’t make up your mind? See the “Major Level” below. And don't forget about the stretch goals in the main write up! Add $10 to ship o

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $78USD

    PICK ONE! (A) MADE IN THE USA MUG –Bennett Aerospace coffee mug. SPECIAL EDITION MUGS LIMIT OF 100. These will NOT be made again; (B) POLO SHIRT - a stylish Bennett Aerospace polo (collars up, please!) (C) SWEAT SHIRT - Show your Smart Hound™ pride this winter! Awesome in both regular and hoodie style; (D) ELEGANT UMBRELLA - with the Laboratory Z logo. Can’t make up your mind? See the “Colonel Level” below. PLUS check out the stretch goals in the main write up! Add $15 to ship outside the USA.

    6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $140USD

    PICK THREE – It’s okay if you want more than one! Pick three items from the Master Sergeant Level. Scroll to the BOTTOM OF OUR PAGE for photos of these SUPER COOL rewards. Plus all levels Corporal and above get the Inspector Level reward! AND CHECK OUT THE STRETCH GOALS IN THE MAIN WRITE UP. Add $25 to ship outside the USA.

    4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $228USD

    PICK THREE – You are in command, so if you want three, you can have three! Pick three items from the Lieutenant Level. Scroll to the BOTTOM OF OUR PAGE for photos of these SUPER COOL rewards. Plus all levels Corporal and above get the Inspector Level reward! AND CHECK OUT THE STRETCH GOALS IN THE MAIN WRITE UP. Add $30 to ship outside the USA.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $392USD

    Be rewarded by becoming part of our research team! We will give you the tools to hunt down bedbugs and report back your results. This includes a Smart Hound™ beta prototype unit to use for testing and two cartridges (delivered a week or few weeks apart) containing trained Sensor Bugs. You could get more cartridges if you help spread the word! We can only ship Sensor Bugs to the lower 48 States at this time. CHECK OUT THE STRETCH GOALS in the main write up.

    0 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $625USD

    We now start to move from being a team to a bedbug hunting, research army! You will receive the supplies needed to conduct research and report back your results to us (see Research Assistant Level). Plus, you get to choose any one item from the Corporal through Lieutenant levels! As above, lower 48 States at this time only. CHECK OUT THE STRETCH GOALS in the main write up. You could get more cartridges if you help spread the word!

    1 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $5,000USD

    You now enter the truly elite ranks! You will receive Gold Level Sponsor recognition with your name AND LOGO of your company (if you have no company logo, we will gladly display your family crest!) Plus Choose 6 of any of the items listed in the Corporal through Lieutenant levels! Sensor Bugs may only be shipped to the lower 48 States at this time.

    0 out of 30 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $12,000USD

    TRAIN A SENSOR BUG!!! – WE ARE TYPING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE YOU DESERVE THE RECOGNITION AT THIS ELITE OF THE ELITE LEVELS! You will receive Platinum Level Sponsor Recognition with your name and logo of your company (again – family crest will work as well!), plus everything in the Gold Sponsor level, PLUS a trip for two to Cary, North Carolina. Scroll to the very bottom of the main write up for complete details – like how we WILL PERSONALLY SCAN YOUR HOTEL ROOM FOR BEDBUGS!

    0 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
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