As reported by ABB Robotics, a pilot project between ABB Robotics and the US non-profit organization Junglekeepers is showcasing the significant role that Cloud technology can play in accelerating and scaling up reforestation efforts. By automating planting tasks in a jungle laboratory, ABB’s cobot YuMi is making the reforestation process faster and more efficient allowing volunteers to focus on more impactful work.
Junglekeepers, on a mission to protect 55,000 acres of Amazon rainforest and reverse deforestation, has partnered with ABB Robotics to implement this innovative approach. The partnership demonstrates how Cloud technology and robotics can address deforestation, a major contributor to climate change. ABB’s cobot YuMi, operating remotely through the ABB RobotStudio Cloud technology from Västerås, Sweden, is successfully automating highly repetitive tasks, freeing up rangers to engage in vital activities within the rainforest and conserve their precious land.
In a remote region of the Peruvian Amazon, a YuMi cobot has been installed in a jungle lab to automate essential tasks in the seed planting process, which are traditionally carried out manually. The cobot digs holes in the soil, places seeds, compacts the soil, and marks the planted areas with color-coded tags. With YuMi’s assistance, Junglekeepers can now replant an area the size of two soccer fields every day in zones requiring reforestation.
The use of automation technology not only expedites the reforestation process but also enables Junglekeepers’ volunteers to allocate their time and resources to more impactful work. Activities such as patrolling the area to deter illegal loggers, educating locals about rainforest preservation, and planting mature saplings can now receive increased attention.
Additionally, the deployment of a fully remote and autonomous cobot installation overcomes the challenge of finding individuals willing to work in distant jungle locations. Once YuMi is initially installed, it can autonomously carry out its tasks, requiring troubleshooting only when necessary.
Moshin Kazmi, Co-Founder of Junglekeepers, emphasizes the urgency of utilizing technology for conservation, stating, “As of right now, we have lost 20 percent of the total area of Amazon rainforest; without using technology today, conservation will be at a standstill.” The rapid destruction of the Amazon rainforest due to human activities such as logging and burning for agricultural purposes contributes to the devastating effects of climate change. Since 1985, an estimated area larger than France, the United Kingdom, and Belgium combined, approximately 870,000 km² of the Amazon rainforest, has been cleared . The region’s alarming deforestation rates have led to rapid warming.
To combat this crisis, Dennis del Castillo Torres, Director of Forest Management Research at the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute, highlights the importance of combining technology, science, and local knowledge, stating, “The rainforest can be saved, but we must bring together all these elements to make a difference.” He further emphasizes the need for selective utilization of advanced technologies in areas with high deforestation rates to accelerate the replanting process.
ABB Robotics’ pilot project in the Amazon is supported by their RobotStudio Cloud technology, enabling real-time collaboration among teams worldwide. This remote programming approach provides greater flexibility, instant refinement, improved efficiency, and resilience without any loss of planting time. With over 25 years of offline programming experience, RobotStudio offers state-of-the-art digital technology, ensuring 99 percent accuracy between simulations and real-world operations. By reducing testing time for robotic solutions by 50 percent and eliminating production downtimes, users can achieve maximum efficiency.
The pilot project in the Amazon rainforest aligns with ABB Robotics’ objective to contribute to sustainable transformation through intelligent robotics and automation solutions. Previously, in collaboration with the Parley Global Cleanup network, ABB Robotics participated in creating personalized designer items, including recycled furniture, using 3D additive printing to address marine plastic waste. Following the approximately six-week pilot program with RobotStudio Cloud and YuMi, ABB will explore extended opportunities to assist Junglekeepers and seek further applications for its robotic solutions and cloud technologies in driving sustainable transformation.