Jungle Robot

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YuMi cobot manages to autonomously plant 640 seed bags per day

The ABB Robotics Amazon reforestation pilot YuMi cobot manages to autonomously plant 640 seed bags per day

The Amazon rainforest is continuing to be placed in danger through such activities as logging and burning to clear land for agriculture. It is estimated that more than 870,000 km² of the Amazon rainforest have been cleared since 1985, with tens of billions of trees already destroyed.

As part of the mission to reverse this deforestation process, the Junglekeepers organisation is working on 55000 acres of the Amazon using a novel automated planting process.

Deep in a remote region of the Peruvian Amazon, a jungle laboratory is operating with the help of an ABB YuMi collaborative robot, which has been installed to automate essential tasks in the seed planting process, usually an entirely manual effort. The cobot digs a hole in the soil, drops the seed in, compacts the soil on top and marks it with a colour-coded tag. YuMi enables Junglekeepers to replant an area the size of two football fields every day.

At the same time, by automating this task, Junglekeepers’ volunteers are able to focus their valuable time and resources on more impactful work, such as patrolling the area to deter illegal loggers, educating locals on the preservation of the rainforest and planting mature saplings.

Creating a fully remote and autonomous cobot installation also overcomes the difficulty of finding people willing to stay and work in the distant jungle location. The project is supported by ABB’s RobotStudio Cloud technology, enabling teams all over the world to collaborate in real time. This remote new way of programming enables new levels of flexibility and instant refinement, resulting in greater efficiency and resilience, and no loss of planting time.

Through ABB RobotStudio Cloud technology, ABB experts simulate, refine and deploy the programming required for YuMi’s tasks in the jungle from 12,000 kms (7,460 miles) away in Västerås, Sweden, making this the world’s most remote robot.

“ABB’s collaboration with Junglekeepers demonstrates how robotics and Cloud technology can play a central role in fighting deforestation as one of the major contributors to climate change”, said Sami Atiya, President of ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation. “Our pilot program with the world’s most remote robot is helping automate highly repetitive tasks, freeing up rangers to undertake more important work out in the rainforest and helping them to conserve the land they live on.”

Jonathan Newell
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