BioCarbon's Tree Planting Drone

UK based BioCarbon Engineering intends to use drone technology to combat deforestation. 

With current rates of deforestation reaching 26 billion trees per year due to various industries, finding a cost and time-efficient way to plant trees worldwide would be immensely valuable.  BioCarbon's CEO and former NASA engineer, Lauren Fletcher, believes they have found a way - using drones. 

The BioCarbon drone would begin with aerial surveillance, generating 3D maps of forested areas in order to assess the need for re-forestation. They would  then return to shoot seed pods into the ground at a fast speed using pressurized air. The seeds themselves would be pregerminated, which means a higher chance of survival and growth. The drones could also monitor the area post-planting to keep track of progress. 

Planting 10 seeds per minute, this would not necessarily be faster than human labor, but it would be cheaper. 2 operators could control multiple drones and plant up to 36,000 trees in a day. It is estimated that the cost would be only 15% of traditional methods. Fletcher believes that, "The only way we're going to take on these age-old problems is with techniques that weren't available to us before".

The prototype has recently received funding and BioCarbon intends to have a working product by the end of the summer. The ultimate goal is to plant 1 billion trees a year.