This Australian start-up wants to fight against deforestation with an army of drones


Let’s face it. Talk about Loss of biodiversity at a party and you are unlikely to make new friends.

Talk about an army of seed-throwing drones, though, and suddenly you’re the coolest person out there.

Well, believe it or not, an Australian startup is doing just that.

Using a fleet of highly advanced octocopters, AirSeed technology fight against deforestation by combining artificial intelligence with specially designed pods that can be projected into the ground from the sky.

“Each of our drones can plant over 40,000 pods per day and fly autonomously,” said Andrew Walker, CEO and co-founder of AirSeed Technologies.

“Compared to traditional methodologies, it’s 25 times faster, but also 80% cheaper.”

100 million trees by 2024

Before take off, each drone hopper is loaded with specially selected pods compatible with the habitat below.

These pods are made from residual biomass, providing a carbon-rich coating that protects the seeds from birds, insects and rodents.

“The niche really lies in our biotechnology, which is the seed’s support system once it’s on the ground,” says Walker.

“It protects the seed from different types of wildlife, but also supports the seed once it germinates and really helps provide all the nutrients and mineral sources it needs, as well as some probiotics to really stimulate growth. an early stage. “

Once in flight, drones travel fixed flight paths, planting predefined patterns and recording the coordinates of each seed.

This allows AirSeed to assess the health of their trees as they grow.

“We are very aware that we need to restore healthy soils, we need to restore microbial communities in the soil, and we need to restore key providers of habitat for animals,” says Walker, who believes the sky is the place. limit for drone-based technology.

The company has already planted more than 50,000 trees and aims to plant 100 million in total by 2024.

How serious is deforestation in the world?

The United Nations Environment Program says the earth loses 70,000 square kilometers of forest every year – an area roughly the size of Portugal.

He calls for this figure to be halved by 2025 and for an end to net deforestation globally by 2030.

But with deforestation rates are unlikely to drop anytime soon, innovative measures like these are needed more than ever to mitigate the drastic consequences of climate change.

AirSeed is not alone in developing drone-based planting systems to combat biodiversity loss.

Two other start-ups – Dendra and Biocarbon Engineering – also aim to help fight deforestation through seed drop technology.

Watch the video above to see the drones in action.

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