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Swarms of drones can now plant trees in areas devastated by fires

Growth pains

The Camp Fire of Northern California was the deadliest in the United States in the last century, and although we can never replace lost human lives, we do have the opportunity to restore the forests consumed by the fire.

Unfortunately, planting trees is not as easy as it seems Johnny Appleseed did: it is a dirty and dangerous job that requires a high level of intelligence.

That's why an emerging company based in Seattle has devised a high-tech solution to the problem of planting seeds in areas devastated by forest fires, and involves a combination of drones, artificial intelligence and bioengineering.

Let a Drone do it

Each year, wildfires in the US UU They burn an average of 7 million acres, and our current method of replacing lost trees is not exactly ideal. "Even in the most sophisticated companies in the world, planters are superheroes who use bags and a shovel to plant trees," said businessman Grant Canary. TechCrunch.

That's why he founded DroneSeed in 2015. The company has developed drones capable of deciding where to plant seeds and plant them, two tasks previously performed by humans.

The drone uses lidar to create a 3D map of an area and a multispectral camera to collect details about its soil and vegetation. From these data, an AI model determines the ideal place to plant a new tree.

However, drones do not simply throw seeds on the ground: DroneSeed has developed special "seed containers". These are small nutrient disks with a seed in their center and a little capsaicin on the outside to deter animals from eating them.

Team effort

DroneSeed is the first company to receive an unmanned aerial vehicle license of more than 55 pounds from several vessels of the Federal Aviation Administration. That means their drones can work in swarms of up to five boats to cover larger areas.

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