Autonomous seed-shooting drones can plant 40,000 trees a day

That's 25 times faster, at 80 percent the cost of conventional means.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Airseed's tree planting drone.AirSeed Technologies/ YouTube

Combating climate change and biodiversity loss is a complicated matter, causing prolonged and perhaps tedious conversations. But what if there was a cooler way to achieve all that?

Enter Australian start-up AirSeed Technology and their swarms of seed-firing drones that are planting 40,000 trees a day to fight deforestation. The company and its incredible technology were featured Wednesday on Euro Green News.

What does this unique innovation look like?

The novel technology combines artificial intelligence with specially designed proprietary seed pods that can be fired into the ground from high in the sky. The firm claims that it performs 25 times faster and 80 percent cheaper compared to traditional seed-planting methodologies.

How do these seed pods work?

According to the firm's website, the "patented seed pods are a low cost, low-impact solution to reforesting native species and provide several supplementary nutrients, minerals, and other additions, all of which are necessary for developing seedlings but may not be available in abundance in the soil at a planting location."

The drones that shoot out the seed pods fly autonomously in two steps. The first round of flights is done to identify site-specific plant species and create an optimum planting pattern.

Collecting data to map flight plans

Then, the data collected in the first step is used to map out accurate flight plans that the drones will follow. These plans also dictate when the carbon seed pods are triggered and when carbon pellet delivery systems are delivered at predefined GPS coordinates.

Once all the seeds have been planted, the researchers continue to use the seed-planting drones to detect and evaluate change over time, count tree canopies, and calculate biomass. "This helps to accurately monitor and report growth rates and ultimately the success of the reforestation/re-vegetation project," adds the firm's website.

We must admit this is by far one of our favorite applications of drones!

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board