Robotic seed planter aims to reverse deforestation in the Amazon

Robots to be used to replant the Amazon Rainforest

Researchers hope the seed-planting technology will help protect 55,000 acres of rainforest and free volunteers’ time to do “more impactful work”.

The YuMi robot, a joint project between ABB Robotics and US non-profit organisation Junglekeepers, has been planting seeds in Madre del Dios region of Peru, close to Brazil and Bolivia.

Sami Atiya, president of ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation, said: “This pilot program with the world’s most remote robot is helping automate highly repetitive tasks,freeing up the volunteers to undertake more important work out in the rainforest andhelping them to conserve the land they live on.”

In a jungle laboratory, located in a remote region of the Peruvian Amazon, a YuMi robot has been installed to automate essential tasks in the planting process which is normally done manually.

It digs a hole in the soil, drops the seed in, compacts the soil on top and marks it with a colour-coded tag.

YuMi can plant 640 seed bags in just two and a half hours, increasing the efficiency to the point that Junglekeepers could replant an area the size of two soccer fields every day in zones requiring reforestation.

Dennis del Castillo Torres, director of forest management research at the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute, said: “The Amazon is in danger. That’s why we need technology, science and local knowledge to work together in order to save it.”

“Otherwise, we will be too late. The rainforest can be saved, but we must bring together all these elements to make a difference.”

“It is very important to have a combination of high technology and conservation.”

“There are many technologies that we can use to preserve the forest, and this robot can help a lot to reforest faster, but we have to be very selective. We have to use it in areas of high deforestation to speed up the process of replanting.”

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The announcement about the new technology comes ahead of World Rainforest Day on June 22.

The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, and 60 percent of it is in Brazil.

It is home to thousands of different plants and animas, some of which can only be found in that area. It is also home to various endangered species.

But the Amazon is under threat from deforestation and pollution, caused by human activity.

Forest destruction in the first four months of 2023 reached 465 square miles almost the size of Los Angeles.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva unveiled a plan last week to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon by 2030.

Lula’s predecessor, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, had scaled back commitments to protect the rainforest.

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