The U.S. had its most devastating wildfire season on record, with over 8 million acres of land burned across the country this year.
Regenerating the forests would ordinarily take years and involve hundreds of people manually replanting saplings grown in dedicated nurseries.
Seattle-based DroneSeed has what it says is a faster and more effective solution. As the company’s name suggests, it uses fleets of drones (also known as drone swarms) to reforest areas that have burned down, dropping what it calls “seed vessels” into areas where they have the best chance of growing back.
The eight-foot drones, flying together up to five at a time on pre-programmed routes, can cover up to 50 acres a day and carry up to 57 pounds of seed vessels, DroneSeed CEO Grant Canary said.
The firm claims to be “six times faster than a tree planter” and to “cut the supply chains [for getting new seeds in the ground] down from three years to three months.”