Planting trees in remote forest locations is a slow, laborious process that still relies on humans with shovels to do all the work.
DroneSeed, a company based in the Pacific Northwest, wants to drastically modernize that process by employing squadrons of drones to plant seeds, spray for invasive species, and monitor the tree growth process.
Forests are important for mitigating the effects of climate change, acting as carbon sinks that absorb as much as 30 percent of annual CO2 emissions.
DroneSeed works with forestry companies to reforest logged areas, and with environmental NGOs to combat deforestation.
Loaded with a batch of seeds, the drones would then fly to specified sites and fire a seed into the ground at a rate of 350 feet per second (384 km/h) using compressed air.
According to the company, a drone could plant up to 800 seeds per hour, compared to 800 seeds a human can plant in a day, covering an acre (0.4 ha) of forest in 1.5 hours on a full battery charge.