Tree-Planting Drones

2016-06-28

Tree-Planting Drones
Beaverton, Oregon-based drone startup DroneSeed created a drone with a device that fires seeds into the ground using compressed air in an effort to reforest the Pacific Northwest, and eventually forests around the world.

The $200 billion forestry industry depends on manual labor to plant seeds in the ground, with work crews using shovels for the chore. One human worker typically can plant 800 seeds in a day, but DroneSeed predicts its device can plant 800 seeds per hour.

Each year, 1.5 billion trees are planted in the U.S., according to the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association. Planting those trees by hand is arduous and dangerous, however.
Most workers on the ground in the U.S. are migrant labor, while in Canada it’s primarily seasonal workers and college students. Labor is still hard to find because the job is physically demanding. Workers have to move trees around the site, hauling trees like mountaineers in bags up hills in work that could mean a thousand back bends a day. One study says a day spent planting trees is equivalent to burning two times more calories than one would by running a marathon.

“A worker could have 3 birthday cakes and whatever Outback Steakhouse is making these days, and still have burned off more calories doing this work,” DroneSeed Chief Executive Grant Canary said.

Not surprisingly, a hard workout is not incentive to get people to do that kind of labor—and cash isnt enough incentive either.

You have people who will turn down the jobs for lower paying easier work elsewhere, he said. Not because theyre lazy, but because its so draining. Its one of the hardest jobs on the planet.

Logging has consistently been one of the most hazardous industries in the United States. In 2010, the logging industry employed 95,000 workers and accounted for 70 deaths, resulting in a fatality rate of 73.7 deaths per 100,000 workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is 21 times higher than the overall fatality rate in the U.S.

DroneSeed Chief Executive Grant Canary says planting trees is one of the hardest jobs on the planet.

Canary would not comment on the cost of DroneSeeds offering, but says the service offers a significant reduction in cost to clients needing to plant trees.

While the agriculture industry has developed tractors and other machinery to automate difficult processes, the forestry industry has struggled to develop a similar technology due to harsh and uneven terrain. Drones could be the solution, as terrain is less of a concern.

DroneSeeds clients include Clean Water Services, a wastewater utility in parts of Oregon, which regularly plants trees to lower temperature of the waterways. It is also working to cover several million acres for one of the Northwests top five foresters and works internationally in Canada.

DroneSeed says its solution is good for the environment, worker safety and investors. DroneSeeds drones currently have a flight time of about 30 minutes; after changing batteries, the drones can cover an acre within 1.5 hours.

In the early 1900s, when the tractor came along, we saw 90% of Americans working on farms drop down to about 3%, Canary said. If we could have that same efficiency in planting trees, the cost could significantly be reduced.

Goldman Sachs estimated in a March 2016 report that agriculture would be the second-largest commercial application for drones behind construction. Farms are currently using drones to monitor crop health and identify potentially problematic areas in the field, often using mounted thermal cameras.

Forestry never made the list, but likely because no one realized the potential application of drones for planting seeds. Only one other startup is similarly working to replant trees with drones: U.K.-based startup BioCarbon Engineering, led by former NASA engineer Lauren Fletcher, plans to plant 1 billion trees a year using a similar technology.

The agricultural robot market is expected to grow to $16.3 billion by 2020 from $817 million in 2013, according to a 2015 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research report. The agricultural drone market has the potential to generate an additional 100,000 jobs in the U.S. and $82 billion in economic activity between 2015 and 2025, according to the report.

There is so much parallel with what happened to precision agriculture and what is happening with us in the forestry industry with drones, Canary said. We see drones as forestrys tractor.



Development of the world market of UAV during COVID-19 pandemic

2021-05-05
Development of the world market of UAV during COVID-19 pandemic

The drone market has grown steadily and continuously over the past several years. The technology is here to stay and is becoming more prevalent across numerous industries. But 2020 was a unique year due to Covid-19. Overall, respondents even felt that the changes in business models triggered by the lockdowns would actually have a positive impact on the drone industry in the long run.

Russia is withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty.

2021-01-18
Russia is withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the country is beginning the procedure for withdrawing from the Treaty on Open Skies.

Exclusive video of application of the ZALA Lancet UAV at the training ground.

2020-12-26
Exclusive video of application of the ZALA Lancet UAV at the training ground.
ZALA Lancet is the first Russian-made unmanned airstrike system.

Drone application in the oil and gas sector

2020-12-23
Drone application in the oil and gas sector

Russia ranks 3rd in the World in the list of countries for oil production. The length of main pipelines in Russia is more than 250 000 km. Many pipelines often run in hard-to-reach areas of our country, which makes it difficult to monitor the condition of pipelines and increases the risk of illegal activities and violations. It is in such cases drones become an integral part of the oil and gas industry.

Results оf The International Helicopter Industry Exhibition HeliRussia 2020

2020-09-24
Results оf The International Helicopter Industry Exhibition HeliRussia 2020
HeliRussia is the only exhibition in Russia where world achievements of the entire range of products and services of the helicopter industry are presented. In 2020, the exhibition was held from September 15 to 17 at the Crocus Expo exhibition center, Moscow.

American retailer Walmart has launched the delivery of food and necessities using Flytrex drones.

2020-09-14
American retailer Walmart has launched the delivery of food and necessities using Flytrex drones.
On September 9, American retailer Walmart performed a pilot launch of food delivery using unmanned aircraft in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

SenseFly drones help monitor Lake Winnipeg ice hazards in Switzerland.

2020-09-12
SenseFly drones help monitor Lake Winnipeg ice hazards in Switzerland.

The project, which is part of the Canadian Space Agency's Earth observation applications development program (EODAP), was aimed at identifying and monitoring lake ice levels, as well as detecting cracks and pressure ridges to raise awareness among local communities and first responders about the risks of moving lake ice.

Development of unmanned aircraft on Military-Technical Forum "ARMY-2020"

2020-09-03
Development of unmanned aircraft on Military-Technical Forum "ARMY-2020"
On August 29, Military-Technical Forum "Army-2020" ended, although only a few months ago this event was under the big question due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the Forum was held and the results were impressive. Mostly participants and visitors of the forum were impressed by the display of domestic unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Pros and Cons of Drone Delivery

2020-04-30
The Pros and Cons of Drone Delivery
The idea of commercial delivery drones is more relevant now than ever as social distancing guidelines have made contactless delivery an essential part of company operations. ‘

The first drone delivery was a tasty one: Dominos delivered two pizzas to a residence in New Zealand in 2016. Since then, companies have been racing towards liftoff.



Medical Drone Delivery Success in Ireland

2020-04-06
Medical Drone Delivery Success in Ireland
In September, it was reported on the world’s first BVLOS medical delivery in Ireland.

Researchers at NUI Galway partnered with German drone startup Wingcopter to transport prescription medication and blood samples for diabetes patients.

This week, the research team released more details about the project in an ENDO 2020 abstract to be published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.



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