Drones to help plant seeds, monitor vast areas in Aravali

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GURUGRAM: Soon, plantation will be conducted in the Aravali hills using artificial intelligence (AI). Drone with AI sensors will be used to detect soil quality, evaluate land, rainfall status and choose which species to plant in the targeted buffer zone.

The move will help increase the green cover in the Aravalis and will help monitor vast areas at one go, which is not humanly possible.

Vinod Kumar, additional principal chief conservator of forests, said that the department started the pilot project in the Aravalis and is dispersing seed balls in the area to improve green cover.

Explaining how it will work, Kumar said that first they will identify barren areas using satellite images and feed it on the drone software for auto plantation.

“This will change the picture of the Aravalis in the coming years. The forest department is currently working to develop a mobile application to collect forestry intervention and monitoring data from the field for better management of forest areas,” he said.

He added that drone-based plantation technology is very promising. However, technology requires a proven artificial intelligence-based system to assess the area for plantation sites and selection of the site specific local species. “Soil moisture, choice of species, seed pellets and mechanism of drone seed plantation are main deciding factors for a successful aerial tree planting. The drone will capture images and the data will be used in identifying the problem areas,” he said.


Amarinder Kaur, principal chief conservator of forest, said, “The technology will provide jobs opportunities for the local community, especially women, who will be roped in for preparing seed balls. A single drone is capable of air planting at least 30,000 seeds in a day and several seeds were dispersed in the Aravalis using the process.”