Portuguese computer geek devises software to stop machines destroying Amazon rainforest

Portuguese computer geek Hugo Veiga has devised a form of open source software to stop machines destroying the Amazon rainforest – and indeed any other protected area on the planet.

The ingenious national, born in Porto but resident in Brazil, has created a code that basically shuts down heavy machinery the minute it’s tracked entering protected territory.

Using a United Nations database, the ‘Code of Conscience’ (click here) was launched only a month ago, but is busily attracting the attention of NGOs and even companies themselves.

Says Veiga, Brazilian companies are also keen to come onboard, adopt the code and play their part in protecting the planet.

How it works is simple. “The code is inserted into new machines that are leaving the factory”, explains Veiga. “For this we are talking to some of the leading manufacturers in the sector so that they introduce this software” into their machines.

The CEOs of Caterpillar, Komatsu, Hitachi CM, Volvo CE, Liebherr, XCMG, Doosan Infracore, Sany, John Deere and JCB have all been invited to apply the code in future machines, while Veiga’s business, specialising in digital products and services, has come up with the answer for vehicles already ‘in the field’.

“We have created a chip that disconnects the machine mechanically”, he told Rádio Renascença.

He said Brazil’s justice department has already been in touch with his company “interested in the project”.

“They are looking for a way of checking, and this is a perfect tool which allows governments and/ or businesses to adapt it to their particular requirements”.

Veiga added that he believes businesses are looking at things in a very different way to governments. “There is a corporate movement right now, at a time when various governments are failing humanity. Businesses are looking at the future and taking the initiative to do something good”, he said.

In Lisbon for digital marketing event ‘Upload Lisboa’, the young inventor was full of encouragement for geeks-in-the-making.

“We’re seeing businesses collapse because crazy young people are creating different things, causing massive business disruption. New tools (like Airbnb, and Netflix) are arriving, new ways of interacting with people are being devised and brands need to be aware, and part of the conversation”.

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