Using a fleet of highly advanced “octocopters,” this Australian start-up called AirSeed Technologies fights deforestation and biodiversity loss. By combining artificial intelligence with specially designed seed pods, the start-up can fire new seeds into the ground from high above in the sky.
"Each of our drones can plant over 40,000 seed pods per day, and they fly autonomously," says Andrew Walker, CEO, and co-founder of AirSeed Technologies, to Euronews.com.
"In comparison to traditional methodologies, that's 25 times faster, but also 80 percent cheaper."
Each drone is loaded with seed pods specially selected and compatible with the habitat they’ll be planted in. The seeds' pods are manufactured with waste biomass, providing a carbon-rich coating, protecting the source from rodents, insects, and birds.
"The niche really lies in our biotech, which is the support system for the seed once it's on the ground," says Walker.
“It protects the seed from different types of wildlife, but also supports the seed once it germinates and really helps deliver all of those nutrients and mineral sources that it needs, along with some probiotics to really boost early-stage growth."
By making the drones plant the seeds in already predefined patterns and then recording each seed's coordinates, AirSeed can assess the health of the trees while they grow.
"We're being very mindful of the fact that we need to restore soil health, we need to restore microbial communities within the soil, and we need to restore primary habitat providers for animals,” continues Walker, who believes the sky's the limit for the drone-based technology.
By now, AirSeed has planted 50 000 trees, and by 2024, their goal is to have produced 100 million trees.