There’s a start-up company out there using “robotic tools to automate forestry and reduce risk for human workers.” It’s called Treeswift. And according to co-founder and CEO Steven Chen, “We’re not replacing the person. We’re replacing the tape measure.”
“Treeswift’s use of swarms of autonomous, flying robots to monitor, inventory, and map timberland is a major step towards automating the forestry industry and bringing the tools of robotics and AI to solve environmental issues. This data science can be used to assess the health of forests and build predictive models that can aid in climate change action initiatives.
“Current practices for gathering forest data are largely manual. Foresters trek into the woods, plot out samples of land, and measure trees by hand using a tape measure. The numbers from these samples are used to make reasonable estimates about forest size, biomass, and more.” According to Chen, “I want to help make each forester do what they do with greater efficiency.”
“Focused on three main targets: calculating inventory for the timber industry, mapping forests for preservation, and measuring forest biomass and fuel to prevent the spread of wildfires, Treeswift’s autonomous flying robots aim to decrease forest survey times and provide more accurate insights into forest health and management. And they reduce the physical harm and discomfort to timber cruisers, the people who actually walk through forests to measure trees.
“‘These robots will not replace human jobs,’” says Chen. “‘Instead, they’re providing new tools to the people who have the insight and the passion to manage our forests.’”
Information source: “Treeswift’s Autonomous Robots take flight to Save Forests”