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New tree-planting drones can plant 100,000 trees in a single day

By William Gayde ยท 27 replies
Jan 31, 2018
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  1. While the traditional uses of drones are typically commercial or recreational, one UK-based company is using them to help the environment. BioCarbon Engineering has teamed up with drone manufacturer Parrot to create a system for autonomously planting trees to fight deforestation.

    According to the World Economic Forum, the world cuts down roughly 15 billion trees but only plants 9 billion. This is in part because replanting manually is very slow and expensive. The drone-based system on the other hand is able to plant trees ten times faster than humans, for 85% less money, and in places humans can't reach.

    The drones are organized in fleets of 6 drones each. Each fleet will first use GPS and computer vision techniques to create a 3D map of the terrain to be reforested. The drones will then come back and shoot germinated seed pods in pre-defined areas of the terrain. They can fire the seeds at roughly one every second for a total of 100,000 each day. The drones can also carry different seed types to help create a more diverse ecosystem.

    The company released an overview of how the system would work a few years ago, but it has now been implemented and is beginning to restore mangroves in Myanmar.

    BioCarben Engineering plans to operate 150 fleets of drones and has a goal of planting half a trillion trees in the next three decades.

    Permalink to story.

  2. amghwk

    amghwk TS Maniac Posts: 405   +233

    Now, we just need another drone that can water these 100,000 trees everyday.
    Reehahs and Abraka like this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,762   +3,182

    WOW .... if "hair club for me" could adapt this they would have a real winner!
    cliffordcooley and captaincranky like this.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,381   +3,602

    What's the damned difference, if they're going to pulverize ten times that amount for junk mail in the meantime?

    Oh well, ocean levels are rising, and there's another killer hurricane every couple of weeks or so. Don't worry, they'll get plenty of water.

    Now if they could only develop a drone to string electric wires and plant power stations in Puerto Rico, that would impress me.
  5. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,403   +324

    This is actually a pretty good idea. Drones being used for something that benefits us and the environment as opposed to being used as package delivery machines or noisy menaces. ;)
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,381   +3,602

    What could possibly be a better use of a drone, than aiding Jeff Bezos to line his pockets?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
    Polycount likes this.
  7. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 546   +297

    This is actually a really cool idea.
    Agnomen, treetops and hahahanoobs like this.
  8. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,403   +324

    Well, maybe they can dump some of that astro-poop on us from above. You know, the recycled "Marmite" feces?
  9. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 749   +379

    How will they finance this? Perhaps by making every 10th seed drop a marijuana plant? That's a forest everyone would want to visit!
    TempleOrion and JaredTheDragon like this.
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,206   +4,867

    Next time you read about this, someone will be using it to plant 10+ marijuana seeds in everyone's flower garden.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,381   +3,602

    I think you mean Papavera somniferum
  12. Abraka

    Abraka TS Addict Posts: 176   +54

    This is just a proof of concept. If it proves successful then they'll convert the drones to plant landmines, which is much more profitable.
    TempleOrion and Godel like this.
  13. Michael Majere

    Michael Majere TS Member

    Instead of shooting seeds it will be converted to fire steel ball bearings. While planting seeds it can also hot swap ammo and mow down hostiles.
  14. ChuckyJ

    ChuckyJ TS Rookie

    They are mangroves, I believe the area is a swamp or very damp so it should be fine. But you're right, for any other type of tree or dry place this might not work.
  15. Godel

    Godel TS Addict Posts: 143   +70

    Timing could help. Just do your seed drop after heavy rain when the soil contains enough moisture to at least get the plants started.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,381   +3,602

    Why not "eliminate the middleman, so to speak", and just have the astronauts stick their behinds out a porthole and, "fire at will"?
    Polycount likes this.
  17. But this would put the ILLEGAL ALIENS out of work.
  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,206   +4,867

    I hate people with this mentality. Disrespect others by calling them illegals. And then in the same sentence suggest they are the only ones worthy of labor.
    amghwk likes this.
  19. OldGuru

    OldGuru TS Rookie

    And Will will get PO'd and fire back!
    Polycount and captaincranky like this.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,381   +3,602

    OK, that's cute, but I didn't capitalize the "w' in "will"

    Still, when you said, "PO'd", did you mean "pissed off", or, "pooped on"? (Now we're even) ;) :D
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    Polycount and OldGuru like this.
  21. OldGuru

    OldGuru TS Rookie

    I meant the first, which follows after the second (sounds like "new math"););)
    BTW, Will will like a small "will" after being "hit".
    captaincranky and Polycount like this.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,381   +3,602

    That did it, I'm going to have to go all pseudo intellectual on yo a**....

    First of all, "capital Will" would be "Big Will", and "small will" , would be "small will", or "Willy" as he is known to his friends, and "intimate acquaintances". <(penultimate bad pun)..

    Next, the idea that Will would, "fire back" runs contrary to several scientific disciplines, and social realities.

    Since I'm "a great sport", I'll shoot down my own idea first. First, without proper shielding against the heat, astronaut poop would burn up in the atmosphere, leaving nothing "behind", <(horrific intended pun), but, "a hot fart in the stratosphere".

    Next, in a structured social institution, poop always runs downhill. Thus "Will", would have to be the "apex predator" in such an environment, to even be allowed to open his mouth, let alone throw poop.

    So what's left you ask? Why philosophy and religion, of course. Judeo-Christian mythology has always insisted that the loss of innocence was caused by Eve offering the apple to Adam, goaded on by "the serpent".

    But what if that very pooping astronaut, visited a planet where the apes had not reached the state of awareness and reason? And what if, the Alpha ape, put it in his mouth, and immediately thought to himself, "ew, this tastes like sh!t".

    Thus kidz, is my version of how the path to true civilization and enlightenment began, and how the saying, "you have sh!t for brains", was born.


    @OldGuru Keep in mind, I only gave you a "mercy like" on that post, because it was of the best setups for a protracted and belabored punchline, I've ever received..(y)(y)(y)(y)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  23. ddferrari

    ddferrari TS Maniac Posts: 409   +186

    Do you ever shut up?
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,381   +3,602

    Why should I? This forum certainly can't run off your one line pundits, now can it?

    How did my post offend thee? Oh that's right, you're an Amazon Prime member.:p (Or should we, "count the ways")?
  25. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,403   +324

    Nothing beats free two-day shipping on Cheet-ohs.

    Don't judge me.
    captaincranky likes this.

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