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Drone technology could be used to combat global warming and plant trees

airseed drone
(Image credit: CAL International / AirSeed Technologies)

British - based engineering firm CAL International has teamed up with AirSeed Technologies, a green tech start-up with the aim of planting 100 million trees by 2024. Using advanced drone technology, it’s hoped that this groundbreaking project will be able to scatter 40,000 seed pods a day using an AirSeed drone. 

In the last 30 years, more than 300 million trees have been destroyed due to deforestation, natural disasters and human activity. Trees are some of the biggest plants on the planet and are vital for storing carbon, releasing oxygen and providing food and shelter for wildlife so ensuring their future is extremely important. Cliff Kirby of CAL International was approached by AirSeed co-founder Andrew Walker in hopes of coming up with a plan to tackle the issue. 

• Read more: Best DJI drones (opens in new tab)

Airseed (opens in new tab) and CAL International (opens in new tab) are now working together to refine a two-man controlled drone that will be able to scatter 40,000 seed pods a day. A seed pod is a seed covered in carbon which protects it from insects, animals and other hungry creatures looking for a meal. When it starts to rain the seed pod is activated, the carbon absorbs the water and allows the seed to germinate.

SeedPods are spread based on GPS coordinates of designated target areas that are identified using artificial intelligence data. Seeds are able to be fired at the ground at a rate of two per second and each carbon pod is pinpointed on a map using a system that takes into account the weather conditions of the day. This enables the drone to return to the same route and record tree growth from the initial seed drop. 

CAL International founder and engineer Cliff Kirby said, “As soon as Andrew mentioned AirSeed to me I knew we were talking about a product and project that was ground-breaking in every sense of the word. CAL International is a unique business that not only has dedicated teams working in partnership Blue Chip manufacturers but also incredible start-up technologies and disruptors such as NeedleSmart and AirSeed.”

This unique project means that even the most remote of areas will be easily accessible and areas affected by bush fires and natural disasters can start to regenerate faster. While the best camera drones (opens in new tab) and the best FPV drones (opens in new tab) are great for taking photos and racing, this new way of using drone technology will go much further in helping to save the planet and hopefully reverse the impacts humans have had on forests and woodland. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.