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

Mapping Gisborne’s worst eroding land

Gisborne land adaptation shifts have received positive feedback from both the Eastland Wood Council and an environmental group. The region’s farmers and forestry companies might end up with designated land they can’t operate on under new council plans. Council chief ...
Read more
Image

Canadian developed Hydrogen-diesel system secured

HVMS, a leading provider in the decarbonisation of transportation, has announced the establishment of its partnership with Canadian company Diesel Tech Industries, to establish installation facilities for the Guardian Hydrogen Diesel System. This initiative marks a significant step towards advancing sustainable ...
Read more
Image

Growing the potential of NZ’s forestry sector in partnership

Forestry Minister, Todd McClay, has announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. ...
Read more
Image

North American DEMO International running in September

The Canadian Woodlands Forum (CWF) is excited to announce that registration is now open for its flagship event, DEMO International®, to be held outside the Ottawa/Gatineau area in the beautiful region of Venosta, Quebec, Canada, from September 19-21, 2024. This world-class event, ...
Read more
Image

Extreme bushfires increasing in number and intensity

Extreme bushfires have more than doubled in frequency and intensity over the past two decades, according to a global study from the University of Tasmania. Published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the research reveals that six of the past seven years have ...
Read more
Image

Mining giants collaborate on battery-electric haul truck trials

In a major step to cut emissions, Australia’s leading mining giants, BHP and Rio Tinto, are poised to test battery-electric haul trucks in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. This initiative, hailed as a “massive opportunity” by energy analysts, aligns with the ...
Read more
Image

Plans to construct the world’s first biomass-fuelled ship

A consortium of Japanese shipping companies comprising NYK Line, NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers, Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Company, and UK- headed renewable energy group Drax Group, have recently signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, to develop both the world’s first biomass-fuelled ...
Read more
Image

€100 m investment in wood-based EV batteries

Stora Enso Oyj is preparing to invest about €100 million in a pioneering project to use wood in electric vehicle batteries and offer an alternative to components currently made in China, according to its chief executive officer. The funds would ...
Read more
Image

First long-range electric trucks to New Zealand

Windrose Technology will work with Auckland based Etrucks® to bring the first long-range electric trucks to New Zealand. The Windrose E1400 6×4 semi tractor features extreme aerodynamic efficiency, with an industry low coefficient of drag of 0.2755. Combined with the ...
Read more