• First of all, BioCarbon's drone flies above an area, mapping its level of forestation and reporting back on the potential for restoration. Then, the aerial vehicle swoops to 2 to 3 meters above ground and fires out a seed pod at sufficient velocity to penetrate the soil surface. The seeds themselves are pregerminated and covered in a nutritious hydrogel, giving them a higher chance of success.
  • The founder doesn't say the method is better than hand planting, just cheaper. He estimates the drone can plant at a rate of 10 seeds per minute. With two operators manning multiple drones, he reckons it would be possible to plant up 36,000 trees in a day. In all, UAV-seeding could be about 15% of the cost of traditional methods, he says.
  • BioCarbon, which is based in the U.K., won a Skoll Foundation award last year and was recently featured in a Drones for Good competition in the United Arab Emirates, where it showed off a prototype. It hopes to have a fully working product by the end of this summer.

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