Leave a Nest Co., Ltd. (Head office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; Group CEO: Yukihiro Maru), as part of the “LVNS Forest Project,” is developing a “seeding drone for tree planting” for use in tree planting in collaboration with KOBASHI ROBOTICS Co., Ltd. (Head office: Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture; President: Shojiro Kobashi), a group company of KOBASHI HOLDINGS Co., Ltd. Upon completion of the prototype, a press conference was held on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, at the “Center of Garage” in Sumida-ku, Tokyo, to unveil the prototype.
Three speakers gave presentations on the following topics:
・Shuhei Tsukada, Executive Officer, Leave a Nest Co., Ltd.
ー Leave a Nest Forest Project summary
ーKey points in the development of the “seeding drone for afforestation” and the process up to the completion of the prototype
・KOBASHI ROBOTICS Co., Ltd. Kazuya Inada, General Manager, Knowledge Manufacturing Dept.
ーHow Kobashi Robotics got involved in this development as a partner company of this project
ーTechnical features of the “seeding drone for reforestation”
・Leave a Nest Co., Ltd. Molting Generator Noi Tatsuzaki
ーSeeder mechanism development, one of the key points of the prototype
ーLearning and thoughts as a “development officer for the next generation”
The Leave a Nest Forest Project will continue to improve the “seeding drone for reforestation”. In addition, we will promote specific initiatives with other partners as well to make steady progress in this project.
⚫️The following is an overview of the “Leave a Nest Forest Project” and how the Seeding Drone for Reforestation was developed
⬛︎ About the Leave a Nest Forest Project
In March 2023, together with 12 Japanese companies, each with diverse assets, we launched the “LVNS Forest Project” to create a society where forests and people coexist in a sustainable manner by assembling deep technologies. While utilizing the assets of 12 partner companies, the project aims to protect the biodiversity of forests that are being destroyed and to develop new ways for people to live and towns to be developed. The project is a concrete example of the corporate brand “Leave a Nest, the Knowledge Manufacturing Company,” which Leave a Nest revealed in June 2023.
＜LVNS Forest Project 12 Japanese companies (in Japanese phonetical order)＞
ACSL Corporation / Ebara Corporation / KOBASHI HOLDINGS Corporation / Sagri Co.
JEPLAN Corporation / PIONEER CORPORATION / HASETORA Spinning Co.
East Japan Railway Company / BIPROGY Corporation / Focus Systems Co.
⬛︎ Development of the “Seeding Drone for Reforestation”
In the Leave a Nest Forest project, we have three missions
Mission 1： Establishment of a new reforestation system using technology
Mission 2： Fostering awareness of sustainable coexistence with forests
Mission 3： Creation of various means of generating valuable products from forests
The development project we have undertaken with KOBASHI ROBOTICS Co., Ltd. is aimed at “Mission 1: Establishment of a new afforestation system utilizing technology”.
Specifically, the project is promoting the demonstration of a system in which “seed balls,” which are plant seeds covered with soil and other materials in a spherical shape, are dropped by a drone and widely used for reforestation. This reforestation system is the brainchild of GALANSIYANG Inc.
The development of a drone for seeding has been promoted in collaboration with KOBASHI ROBOTICS Co.
１ How we worked with KOBASHI ROBOTICS Co., Ltd.
Kobashi Robotics Co., Ltd. (Head office: Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture; President: Shojiro Kobashi), one of the partner companies of the Leave a Nest Forest Project, is a manufacturer of agricultural machinery founded in 1910, and has one of the world's largest shares of the tillage claw used in tractors to plow farmland.
Based on the philosophy of “Cultivating the Earth,” the company is working to solve global issues in order to leave a richer life for people and the Earth to the next generation. The company is participating in the “Leave a Nest Forest Project” to enrich forests, which are indispensable to mankind, and to contribute to the creation of a sustainable social system in which forests and mankind can coexist in harmony.
KOBASHI ROBOTICS Corporation, a subsidiary of KOBASHI, provides comprehensive support for manufacturing by startup companies, including mass production, with the end goal of the social implementation of technologies that contribute to solving problems facing the earth and humankind. KOBASHI ROBOTICS was responsible for the development and manufacturing of the “seeding drone for reforestation” from scratch in order to quickly realize the demonstration experiment in this project, and was able to complete the prototype in a short period of two months through efficient manufacturing with no rework thanks to KOBASHI's know-how cultivated over many years.
2 The main points in the development
The joint development was promoted based on the following two points.
・Development of seeder (device to drop seed balls) mechanism
・Hypothesis testing of seeding method with seed balls
In particular, in the development of the seeder mechanism, it was necessary to realize a series of movements to feed the seed balls without jamming and to make them fall one at a time per action. To this end, we repeatedly verified and experimented from various angles, including the size and hardness of the seed balls, and as a result, we were able to achieve this during the test flight in May.
3 About “The Next Generation of Development Professionals”
The key point in the development of this project was the development of the seeder mechanism. This was carried out by Noi Tatsuzaki, the “Molting Generator” at Leave a Nest. In 2023, Leave a Nest Co., Ltd. will establish a new “Advanced Recruitment System” for 18-22 year olds who have demonstrated exceptional talent in research and development during their junior and senior high school years to commit to Leave a Nest's knowledge manufacturing business and gain experience in creating a serious sustainable business. Ms. Tachizaki was the first of these students to join Leave a Nest in March 2023, taking advantage of his her year after high school graduation.
In addition to having her fully demonstrate the knowledge and skills she has acquired while developing original robots since elementary school, Tachizaki's participation in this project, now 19 years old, also carries a message. We believe that it is essential to involve the next generation in this project, which aims to solve “deep-rooted issues” on the earth that need to be addressed over the long term, and to promote the project by involving the human resources who will lead the next generation.
⬛︎ Future Plans
We have been informed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Forest Management Bureau of the Philippines that they are positively considering working with the “Leave a Nest Forest Project”. We plan to proceed with the collaboration plan and proceed with the demonstration using the denuded forests in the Philippines.
Although we have completed a prototype of the “seeding drone for reforestation,” we believe there is room for improvement in the seeder and operating method. In addition, as we proceed with the demonstration in overseas forests, we anticipate that the climate may affect the mobility and germination of the seed balls. Therefore, we will continue to make improvements and use them for demonstration in the Philippines. We are aiming for a timeframe as early as the end of fiscal year 2023.
In addition to the Philippines, the project will also be utilized in other countries, such as Malaysia, where needs have been identified. One of the missions of the “Leave a Nest Forest Project” is to steadily promote the establishment of a new reforestation system utilizing technology. At the same time, we will promote specific initiatives with other partner companies as well to make steady progress in this project.
＜For inquiries regarding this matter, please contact＞
Leave a Nest Co., Ltd.: Jindo, Mochizuki