A UK tech company, Dendra, is aiming to “re-green” the planet. The company earlier gained much popularity for its drone planting solutions. It was previously known as BioCarbon Engineering, started by NASA engineers. According to this company, their tree planting drone can plant two trees per second. Dendra plans to plant 10 billion trees each year, as they estimate it would take just 400 teams of two drone operators, with 10 drones per team. The cost of planting the trees by drones would be at a much lower cost than the traditional method of planting by hand. The target is to plant 500 billion trees by 2060 using AI and drones.
The CEO of Dendra Systems, Susan Graham, says, “The challenge that we’re tackling is a complex one and working with a team of passionate engineers, plant scientists, drone operators, we came up with this idea to use automation and digital intelligence to plant billions of trees.”The company plans it by identifying the replanting areas using a combination of satellite images and drone-collected data. Specialized planting drones will take to the skies loaded with seedpods containing germinated seeds and nutrients.
The fastest way of “re-greening” the planet
The drones use pressurized air to fire the seeds into the ground – at 120 pods per minute, once in position. Once activated by water, the seedpods penetrate the earth and start to grow. Combining speed and accuracy, Dendra estimates its technology would enable governments to restore forests 150 times faster and, up to 10 times cheaper.
Thinking about global change, Graham says it represents a new “step-change”. “We need to use technology to scale up our restoration efforts, and the scale we’re talking about is tens of billions of trees every year. We will be able to see the ecosystems that we’ve restored from space.”
Further, according to estimates, we are losing more than 75,000 square kilometers of forests a year, or 27 football fields every minute. It also includes the carbon capture potential of those trees. “There’s a saying that goes that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second-best time is today,” says Graham.
“We have this opportunity now, and we need to act today.”