YuMi the autonomous robot is helping to reverse deforestation in the Amazon

Thanks to the new robot, an area the size of two soccer fields can be reforested every day.
Loukia Papadopoulos


ABB Robotics has partnered with U.S. non-profit organization Junglekeepers to allow the firm’s robot called YuMi to help the organization with the reforestation of the Amazon. The new machine is automating planting tasks in a jungle laboratory, speeding the process and allowing Junglekeepers’ volunteers to focus their valuable time and resources on more impactful work.

This is according to a press release by ABB published on Tuesday.

“ABB’s collaboration with Junglekeepers demonstrates how robotics and Cloud technology can play a central role in fighting deforestation as one of the major contributors to climate change,” said Sami Atiya, President of ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation. 

“Our pilot program with the world’s most remote robot is helping automate highly repetitive tasks, freeing up rangers to undertake more important work out in the rainforest and helping them to conserve the land they live on.”

The robot has been sent to a jungle lab in a remote region of the Peruvian Amazon, where it is busy digging holes in the soil, dropping seeds in, compacting the soil on top, and marking it with a color-coded tag. The end result is that thanks to YuMi, an area the size of two soccer fields can be reforested every day.

Promoting conservation efforts

“As of right now, we have lost 20 percent of the total area of Amazon rainforest; without using technology today, conservation will be at a standstill,” said Moshin Kazmi, Co-Founder of Junglekeepers. 

“Having YuMi at our base is a great way to expose our rangers to new ways of doing things.  It accelerates and expands our operations and advances our mission.”

“The Amazon is in danger. That’s why we need technology, science and local knowledge to work together in order to save it. Otherwise, we will be too late. The rainforest can be saved, but we must bring together all these elements to make a difference,” said in the statement Dennis del Castillo Torres, Director of Forest Management Research at the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute. 

“It is very important to have a combination of high technology and conservation. There are many technologies that we can use to preserve the forest, and this robot can help a lot to reforest faster, but we have to be very selective. We have to use it in areas of high deforestation to speed up the process of replanting.”

It is estimated that more than 336,000 mi² (870,000 km²) of the Amazon rainforest have been devastated since 1985, an area larger than France, the United Kingdom, and Belgium combined.