BioCarbon Engineering, an Oxford based startup founded by ex-NASA engineer Lauren Fletcher, has taken the initiative to plant 1 billion trees a year by enlisting the help of drones. Dr. Susan Graham, an Australian engineer is also part of the team developing the drones that will help with the procedural seeding of forests.
The massive seeding process utilises two types of drones: surveyor drone and seeding drone. The surveyor drone scans and establishes 3D models of geographical features and then with the help of proprietary algorithms to find optimal seeding spots and reports them back. And then, automated seeding drones carrying the seed pods are dispatched to these locations. The drones use a sophisticated mechanism to plant the seed into the appropriate spots in a predetermined seeding pattern.
With this approach, it is estimated around 36000 trees could be planted in a single day. French drone maker Parrot™, has also taken an active interest and made an investment to help accelerate this project.
The Earth loses trees at a rate faster than they can be planted. According to the World Wildlife Fund, 58000 square miles of forest are lost every year. More than 15% of the carbon emissions responsible for the global greenhouse effect can be attributed to deforestation.
Drones have established a reputation for their delivery capabilities. However, delivering goods isn’t the only boon of this technology. Drones have also been used to provide medical emergency services reaching locations faster than the EMT’s. Drones have also been used to help controlling the declining bee population. Considering the amount of undiscovered utilities that drones could provide us in the future, we might have just scratched the surface.