Balancing something on the edge of a bucket to make a DIY mouse trap is not a new idea. But when you use video surveillance and a dollop of evil cunning, it turns out you can optimize the automatic mouse-killing process to a scary extent.

The trap is the work of Canadian engineer Matthias Wandel. He started out with a classic aluminum can trap, but found that mice were finding ways to get at the bait without falling into the bucket. So, with the help of a Raspberry Pi-powered video survelliance system, he worked through a few generations until he came up with the optimal mouse trap: a carefully balanced plastic ramp, with a magnet to make the release instant, rather than gradual.


It’s a neat piece of engineering, and in the process of building the trap, Wandel discovered just how dumb mice can be. Because there’s no water in the bucket, the mice he dumped in during filming managed to escape—just to come straight back onto the trap. Darwinism not quite at its finest.