What’s New in Robotics?

Tree-planting robot takes on climate change

There’s nothing greener in the Green Movement than Mother Nature’s own cleaning crew: vegetation! Especially trees, with their massive appetite for carbon dioxide, which is by far the primary culprit in global climate change.

A single hardwood tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year; a weight about equal to a bag of Quikrete or six gallons of water.

The Gobi Desert is a squat 1,000 miles wide and 500 miles north to south…and it’s growing larger annually, gobbling up over 1,300 square miles of grassland every year. Since China has only 12% of the world’s arable land to feed 20% of the world’s population, losing a thousand square miles of grassland annually is not a good thing for feeding the country.
So, atop an AMR chassis from Shenzhen-based AgileX Robotics called Scout 2, four postgraduate students from East China Normal University built a “planting robot”. Light weight but rugged, the unmanned robot, can conduct, large-scale, 24×7 planting operations daily covering acreage twice the size of a football field.
With the spring planting season very short, fleets of these Scout 2 tree-planting robots would be needed. But, thousands of autonomous robots repopulating the world with trees might well be the best remedy yet to the onrushing disaster of climate change

Humanity, finally waking up to what its massive appetite for trees has done to the planet’s future, has lately been searching for remedies to reverse climate change. Robots seem to be at or near the top of the list. Yes, those same feared, job-stealing automatons may end up being Earth’s salvation. Fancy that!
Of the tree-planting robot systems (Forest Bot; Tree Rover, etc.) all emerging slowly into the marketplace, the newest hails from China; and the Chinese have given it a massive challenge: the Gobi Desert.

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