In their relatively short life spans, it’s fair to say that drones have attracted a pretty negative reputation. At the milder end of the spectrum, they are annoying disturbances to our privacy that could singlehandedly lead to the death of topless sunbaking and nude beaches. At the other end of the scale, the Reaper and Predator drones used by the US military rain death from sky and often result in terrible consequences for innocent civilians in the same area as their targets.
But one company has the aim of transforming drones into a force for good.
BioCarbon Engineering clearly hasn’t heard of starting small, with their stated mission to “re-forest” the world by planting one billion trees. Oh, and they plan on using a fleet of (presumably) flower adorned, bio-diesel powered and carbon neutral unmanned aerial vehicles to do it.
Jokes aside, the company estimates that through increased urban sprawl, large open cut mining operations, expanded agricultural activities and illegal logging the world loses around 26 billion trees a year.
Put another way, the World Wildlife Fund estimates that we are losing the equivalent of 72 football fields of forest in the time it has taken you to read up to the full stop at the end of this sentence (36 fields a minute).
BioCarbon plans to use a fleet of drones to precisely map, plan, plant and monitor the seedlings they will drop from the sky to seed deforested areas.
It would be easy to dismiss this plan as the ravings of a bearded, hemp-pant wearing group of university students, but there appears to be some serious academic and commercial backing for the project.
Among the initial team is a CEO with a PhD in physics and experience at NASA, and a finance guy with an MBA, CFA and CA and time at “The Millionaires Factory” Macquarie Bank. There are also three PhD candidates in environment, geography and biomedical engineering who have previously been employed by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the World Resources Institute and Cochlear thrown in for good measure. And not a scraggly beard in sight.
BioCarbon are definitely the only company we’ve heard of that combines the untapped potential of killing machines, a team of very bright people and a global environmental goal. And in the event that it does happen, at least you’ll know why there are seedlings falling from the sky.
Read more about BioCarbon Engineering’s plans here.