The eco-friendly tree planting robot as its creator named it, is a four legged planting robot. This robot is equipped with a planting arm and a planting head. The legs of the robot reduce the pressure applied on the forest floor and allow the machine to be smaller, while still being able to move through tough terrain. Today, most parts of the forestry industry in Sweden is completely mechanized. Planting, on the other hand, is mainly done by hand. In this way, deforestation is more rapid then the replanting process. This is a hard work and getting increasingly difficult to find willing labors. The existing planting machines developed throughout the years are still inefficient and inflexible. These machines are big in size and function, creating a strain on the environment which is not necessary. The tree planting robot, designed by Anna-Karin Bergkvist prepares the planting spot in an environmentally friendly way by using hot steam to kill competing vegetation. The seedling is planted with a protective barrier made of biodegradable plastic.
Designer: Anna-Karin Bergkvist
This barrier protects the seedling from bugs, without the use of toxic insecticides. The engine is steam based, being fueled by forestry waste, like wood chips or pellets. Steam engine allows the cooling process to be made with water instead of oil. The robot has a seedling ramp on the back which allows it to carry up to 320 in one single load. The seedlings are fed one by one to the front of the robot, where they are loaded onto a revolving cartridge on the planting head.
When the cartridge is full, the arm extends to plant the seedling in a pattern around the robot. After all the seedlings in the cartridge have been planted in the area where the arm can reach, it retracts to pick up more. This process allows the robot to move in a different area and continue the reforestation process until all the seedlings on the load ramp have been given a spot to grow in. The robot is transported to the planting area in a trailer, that also contains the seedlings, fuel and water.
When the robot has consumed all of its seedlings, it returns to the trailer for a refill. The trailer acts as a portable service station for the robot, the refueling and refilling is done automatically. The tree planting robot is indeed a nature’s ally, helping fast reforestation outcome the deforestation.