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Swarms of drones can now plant trees in fire-damaged areas



Growing Pains

Campfire in northern California was the deadliest event in the US in the past century, and although we can never replace lost human lives, we have the opportunity to restore the forests consumed by the flame. 19659003] Unfortunately, planting trees is not nearly as easy as Johnny Appleseed would seem – it's a dirty, dangerous job that requires a lot of intelligence.

Therefore, a Seattle-based startup has a technical solution to the problem of planting seeds in areas that have been destroyed by forest fires – and this includes a combination of drones, artificial intelligence, and bioengineering.

Let's do it

Every year, forest fires in the US burn an average of 7 million acres, and our current method of replacing lost trees is not ideal. "Even in the most demanding companies in the world, planters are superheroes who use bags and a shovel to plant trees," said Grant Canary of TechCrunch .

. That's why he founded DroneSeed in 201

5. The company has developed drones capable of deciding where to plant seeds and actually planting them – two tasks previously performed by humans.

The drone uses LIDAR to create a 3D map of an area and a multispectral camera to capture details about its soil and surrounding vegetation. From this data, an AI model determines the ideal location to plant a new tree.

However, the drones do not just drop seeds on the ground – DroneSeed has developed special "seed vessels". These are small nutrient pucks with a seed in the middle and a hint of capsaicin on the outside to keep animals from eating them.

Team Effort

DroneSeed is the first company to receive an unmanned aerial vehicle license for over 55 pounds for unmanned aerial vehicles, the Federal Aviation Administration. That is, its drones can work in swarms of up to five craftsmen to cover larger areas.


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