Image

Autonomous pruning: the future of forest management

3 June 2022

With anticipated future innovations, this type of technology could be used to support bushfire risk management, improve the economic value of the nation’s timber resource, and overcome occupational health and safety risks.

The recently completed report, A review of current mechanical & robotic tree pruning equipment, was developed by the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Forest Research Institute (FRI) and international research partners.

“In recent years, increased interest has been expressed by Australian plantation forest managers in the potential use of mechanical or robotic tree pruning systems,” said lead author Mark Brown, Professor of Forestry Operations at USC and Director of the Forest Industry Research Centre, who led the review.

“Meanwhile, Australian researchers agree there could be potential value in importing and testing specific commercial solutions, or even designing and developing specific solutions domestically.”

Before committing to significant financial investment in this space, FWPA commissioned an independent global review of mechanical tree pruning technologies currently being used in plantation forest management, as well as the prospective development of future technologies both domestically and internationally.

A technical desktop review was used to inform the report, alongside a review of academic literature published in the last five years and industry journals published in the last two years. Information was collected on each identified system of interest, covering capabilities and performance, while considering stem and branch size, height, tree age, species, trees per hour and the impact of gradient.

Equipment was also compared for technological readiness, capital and operating costs, range of application, and the general strengths and weaknesses for potential use in the Australian setting.

“While the mechanics of these inventions have improved, the agility and range of application are still limited, in particular when applied to radiata pines,” said co-author of the report Dr Sam Van Holsbeeck, a research fellow at the University of the Sunshine Coast who worked closely with Brown on the review.

More >>

The full report can be found by visiting www.fwpa.com.au/resources

Source: FWPA R&D Works

Read More
Image

Kenworth unveils futuristic SuperTruck 2

Kenworth showcased its SuperTruck 2 demonstrator vehicle at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Las Vegas last month, a project developed over six years in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck programme. The aim of the project ...
Read more
Image

Key drivers to decarbonise heavy transport fleets

The industry was buzzing once again for the Wood Transport & Logistics 2024 event that ran last week in Rotorua, New Zealand. Well over 200 forestry and log transport companies from across Australasia, America and Europe, came to Rotorua to ...
Read more
Image

Rocket Lab launches climate science satellites

Rocket Lab, a global leader in launch services and space systems, today launched the first of two back-to-back launches for NASA’s PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) climate change-focused mission. ‘Ready, Aim, PREFIRE’ lifted-off from Rocket Lab Launch ...
Read more
Image

Hiringa launches hydrogen refuelling network

Taranaki-based green hydrogen developer Hiringa Energy has marked the opening of New Zealand’s first zero-emission green hydrogen refuelling network set to service heavy freight across the North Island. The initiative is the first of its kind in Australasia and was officially ...
Read more
Image

Lidar technology for scalable forest inventory

Evaluating the trade-offs between the various platforms. When considering Lidar technology for forest inventory, it is essential to evaluate the trade-offs of each platform. This article provides some pointers. There is a critical need for rapid, rigorous, reproducible and scalable ...
Read more
Image

Remote-controlled firefighting technology demoed

BurnBot, an innovative firefighting technology, has been successfully demonstrated in Incline Village, Nevada. These remote-controlled machines can quickly clear vegetation, reducing wildfire risk. In just 2-3 days, BurnBot cleared 75% of the vegetation on 22 acres – a task that would take ...
Read more
Image

Hyne Group further expands

The Hyne Group is now pleased to announce the further expansion of this new operating division, with the acquisition of Express Pallets and Crates (Express), based at Narangba near Brisbane. Express has been in operation for some 35 years, under the ownership and ...
Read more
Image

FWPA Report: Transforming softwood timber verification

Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is pleased to share new research introducing biased position testing as a cost- effective and efficient method for the verification of structural softwood timber properties.  This innovative approach can unlock significant cost savings and improved efficiency ...
Read more
Image

Heli-saw to ‘transform’ tree-trimming around power lines

New Zealand’s electricity sector could be transformed by a radical new approach to keeping trees off power lines, says a King Country-based energy distributor. The Lines Company (TLC), based in Te Kūiti, has undertaken its first successful trial of the heli-saw – a ...
Read more