Automated harvesting with robots in the forest

30 September 2020

FPInnovations is moving full speed ahead with its automated-harvesting project to usher in a new era of  forestry machinery with an eye to one day operating fully autonomous machines.

Much of the forestry equipment in use dates from designs that originated in the 70s, with improvements made along the way. In an industry-leading move, the automated-harvesting team is developing the brains behind a new generation of machines destined for forest operations.

“No one has been able to design a suitable machine that can work autonomously in a hostile forest environment,” says Francis Charette, digitalization manager at FPInnovations. “The terrain is unpredictable, there are many physical obstacles in the way, and the worksites are remote. The first step is basic automation and if we’re successful, and we have every reason to be, we’ll move on to more highly automated machines. FPInnovations and its partners want to be one of the first in the world to develop an algorithm capable of telling a machine what tasks to do in a forest environment.”

FPInnovations recently acquired two new machines on which to develop its robotic skills.

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Source and image credit: FPInnovations