Autonomous Self-Burying Seed Carriers for Aerial Seeding #Biomimicry
Researchers have developed a robot that buries itself in soil when exposed to water. Here’s more from Nature:
Aerial seeding can quickly cover large and physically inaccessible areas1 to improve soil quality and scavenge residual nitrogen in agriculture2, and for postfire reforestation3,4,5 and wildland restoration6,7. However, it suffers from low germination rates, due to the direct exposure of unburied seeds to harsh sunlight, wind and granivorous birds, as well as undesirable air humidity and temperature1,8,9. Here, inspired by Erodium seeds10,11,12,13,14, we design and fabricate self-drilling seed carriers, turning wood veneer into highly stiff (about 4.9 GPa when dry, and about 1.3 GPa when wet) and hygromorphic bending or coiling actuators with an extremely large bending curvature (1,854 m−1), 45 times larger than the values in the literature15,16,17,18.
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