Image

Development of a remote-controlled scarifier

1 July 2022
The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, “Skogforsk”, has received funding to develop a remote-controlled scarifier. The goal is to bring the technology of remote-controlled forest machines closer to reality.

The choice of a scarifier for this project is because it’s easier to control compared to other types of forest machines. Scarifiers operate in an environment where most trees have been removed which makes communication between the machine and a remotely placed operator much easier. The interaction with the machine is also less intensive as no crane is being used during operation.

Furthermore, a scarifier normally offers an inconvenient working environment for the operator as vibrations are worse than in a forwarder or a harvester. This is because the scarifier operator must operate in straight lines and cannot avoid obstacles in the same way as with e.g., a forwarder.

“A scarifier must cover the whole site, also difficult terrain,” Martin Englund at Skogforsk explains. “If the operator instead can control the machine remotely it should be a great improvement of the working environment for the operator. In the long run, it could also mean that simpler and cheaper machines could be used as there will be no need for advanced systems for e.g., cab-damping,” he concludes.

The project covers many areas

The project includes several knowledge and development areas where progress contributes to making remote-controlled scarifying possible. Among other things, relay stations will be developed and evaluated for improved coverage of radio communication. Different operator support systems will also be looked at to cover the operator’s need for information.

Another part of the project is to find out how driving in the terrain is affected by remote-controlling and if, and how, a digital planning tool could be helpful in route planning. The study, which starts now and ends in 2024, will end with a demonstration where the machine will be controlled by an operator from an operator’s cabin close to the working site.

Remote-controlled machines

Sometimes I think it’s a pity that the forestry machine business is so small. Compared to construction machinery or trucks, the volumes that we are talking about in forest machines are ridiculously small. This means that the incentive to invest in development is smaller compared to other types of vehicles. E.g., self-driving trucks have been underway for a long time now.

As for forestry machines, we have seen machines like the Beast & the Courier, both machine systems that actually work. And then of course the ongoing projects with the Autoplant and the autonomous machine concept. Not to mention the AirForestry project which is both remote-controlled and very exciting.

I have mentioned it before, and I still believe that the technology is there. It’s the money that’s missing. What´s positive is that there seem to be many projects going on simultaneously for the moment, which hopefully means that something will come out of it soon.

Source: Forestry.com

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