Several proposals related to minimizing environmental damage include massive reforestation. Planting billions of trees in the first place sounds like a challenge for robots! Humanity has already automated felling and made it massive. Meanwhile, in most cases, trees are still planted by hand and individually. Now is the time to think about automating and scaling the processes of caring for nature.
Estonian company Milrem Robotics, known as the developer of robotic tanks and multifunctional ground-based robotic platforms, is opening new horizons. Robots-foresters Multiscope Forester Planter can take up to 380 seedlings and plant them on an area of one hectare in 5-6 hours, depending on the type of trees and soil type. The devices are designed to serve commercial land, however, according to the developers, they can operate in areas affected by deforestation.
Lidar and GPS provide navigation of ground-based robotic platforms. The location of each seedling is entered into a database, which can facilitate the work of specialized robots designed for weeding.
Characteristics of robots:
● Speed: up to 20 km / h
● Dimensions: 240 x 200 x 115 cm
● Clearance: 40-60 cm
● Maximum slope: 60 degrees, maximum side slope no more than 30 degrees.
● Traction: 21 kN
● Operating time with a hybrid power plant (diesel + electric generator): 10-12 hours
● Battery life: 0.5h - 1.5h (lead acid battery or LIOn)
● Control range (line-of-sight): up to 1.5 km
● Floodlights: LED, including IR range
Milrem Robotics is already in use in 9 countries. The range of the company includes 11 systems and 10 concepts, there are versions of robots with plows and snow buckets.
Ground-based robotic platforms are not the only technological answer to deforestation. The situation can be saved by drones capable of shooting capsules with tree seeds and a minimum set of nutrients into the ground, which will allow the seed to take root and sprout.
In 2012, the Worldview International Foundation launched a campaign in Myanmar to plant about 1 billion mangroves. For 7 years, volunteers have planted about 6 million seedlings. This is an impressive but, alas, insufficient result. In 2019, Dendra Systems joined the case, whose drones planted more than 4 million mangrove trees in one year. According to the developers, a pair of operators controlling a group of 10 drones are capable of planting up to 400 thousand trees in just a day. These are just incredible indicators!