Bots to the rescue? Drones may save the planet by bombing it with seed pods

© Reuters
A startup is proposing to tackle deforestation by drones dropping seed pods to preserve the planet’s forests.

BioCarbon Engineering was founded by former NASA engineer Lauren Fletcher. The company has recently been chosen as one of the world’s 14 leading environment conscious startups, according to the UN.  

Their precision planting method may help boost the speed of replenishing forests with trees as current rates are way too slow. 

“Destruction of global forests from lumber, mining, agriculture, and urban expansion destroys 26 billion trees each year,” states the UK-based company’s website.

“How do we reverse the damage that we’ve done?” asks BioCarbon’s CEO Lauren Fletcher. 

By changing the world a billion trees at a time - that’s the startup’s ambitious motto and they believe it could all be done with the use of drones because replanting trees by hand is too slow and  too expensive.

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First these fixed-wing drones will map the land’s topography creating a 3D terrain simulator. They also learn about the local biodiversity. Then that information will be used to generate a “precision planting platform” meaning that the drones would be able to exactly launch the seed pods into land where they would grow best. 

BioCarbon has improved the previously flawed dry seeding by air methods, they now use pods filled with pre-germinated seeds that are covered in a nutritious hydrogel.

Such precision is made possible because these eco warrior drones can drop the seeds from a height of one to two meters.

Alarming scientific estimates claim that at the current rates of deforestation all of the world’s rainforests will be gone by the middle of the 21st century.