These Brits Are Trying to Scoop a $1m Drone Prize to Cyber-Plant a Billion Trees a Year

By Matt Hill on at

Well, it certainly sounds a more productive use of a fleet of little hovering computers than delivering household consumables. Yet a UK team is hoping that its industrial-scale reforestation project to replant the world's trees using drones is also deemed a cleverer civilian-helping plan than such worthy pursuits as land-mine detection and organ transportation. Only then can it scoop the $1 million it needs to actually make such an ambition take off.

Lauren Fletcher's BioCarbon Engineering is one of 19 international semi-finalists still in the Drones For Good competition after the event-holding UAE Government whittled it down from 800 from 57 different countries over the past few months. Each one is now to live-demo their socially conscious flying machines today and tomorrow to an audience of venture capitalists and various large-of-wallets, with the winner to be announced and showered in ethically justified cash on Sunday in Dubai.

Here are a collection of behind-the-scenes videos on the five frontrunners, starting with Blighty's own entry:

1.) UK: Drones For Planting 1 Billion Trees A Year by Lauren Fletcher

2.) Spain: Drones for Landmine Detection by Marc Beltran

3.) New Zealand: Drones For Saving Lives at Sea by Marco Wuethrich

4.) Switzerland: Collision-Resistant Drones for Search and Rescue by Patrick Thevoz

5.) Kenya: Drones for Better Service Delivery in Slums by David Kiarie

[Drones For Good]