Image

Drone lifts tree! A groundbreaking milestone in forestry

28 November 2023

AirForestry, renowned for its pioneering work with drone technology for harvesting trees, has recently showcased that its drone can attach to a tree top and lift a tree trunk. 

“We’re quite literally elevating the future of forestry,” said Dr Mauritz Andersson, CTO and Cofounder of AirForestry. “Harvesting trees from above using drones was once thought impossible. Today, we’re turning that vision into reality, demonstrating not just the technological feasibility but also the environmental advantages of our approach.”

The innovative system, encompassing a 6-meter heavy-duty drone, a unique harvesting tool, A.I.-based automation, and a control station, represents a significant leap from traditional logging practices. As demonstrated in the attached video, the drone first navigates to a thinning site, precisely identifies a tree using computer vision, and subsequently employs the harvesting tool to grip the tree’s top.

Utilizing gravity, the tool descends the tree, defoliating branches and leaving them as natural forest nourishment. The culmination of the process sees the harvesting tool cutting the tree trunk with an electric chainsaw, then the drone flies the tree trunk to a designated collection point by the roadside.

“Our solution is not only about big drones. It’s about sustainability, efficiency, and ensuring minimal impact on our precious forests,” Dr Andersson continued. “Being fully electric, our drones leverage high-performance batteries and on-the-go charging stations. The tool’s lightweight design, paired with the drone’s impressive 200-kilogram payload capacity, ensures an efficient and eco-friendly harvest cycle.”

The company’s journey, from founding and the first prototype in the summer of 2020, to the full size drone’s inaugural flight last summer, through the rigors of a Swedish winter at temperatures plummeting to -20°C, has been filled with noteworthy milestones. Each of these steps has been critical to the company’s current triumph: a drone that can lift trees and transport it to the nearest road without inflicting damage on the forest floor.

More >>

Source: Cision News

ForestTECH News banner

Read More
Image

February NZ log market update

Opinion Piece: Marcus Musson, Director, Forest360 February has kicked off with a hiss and a roar with log exporters pulling out the pencil sharpeners and publishing prices in the mid to high $130’s for A grade (except for Bluff and Lyttleton where you ...
Read more
Image

FIEA wood residues conference – Call for speakers

Following on from last year’s record turnout, planning for Residues2Revenues 2024 is now well underway. The NZ forest industry is looking to capitalise on the growth and demand in biofuels, bioenergy and a range of renewable bioproducts. This event helps ...
Read more
Image

4,600 kilometres for SCA’s electric log truck

SCA’s electric log truck continues to transport wood between Gimonäs timber terminal and Obbola paper mill, has now been in operation for over 1.5 years, covering over 4,600 km; SCA testing truck for log transport directly from forest. SCA’s electric ...
Read more
Image

Toroawhi initiative comes to an end

The Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) is announcing today that our Toroawhi / Worker Champion initiative is coming to an end. The Toroawhi initiative started in February 2020 as a pilot sponsored by WorkSafe. But the funding and initiative will ...
Read more
Image

New tool to manage forestry slash

Better management of forest felling waste has gained new impetus in Cyclone Gabrielle’s wake, with the sector firmly in the spotlight for the impact such waste has had on communities, ecosystems, and farmland downstream from harvest areas. Rotorua-based forest management ...
Read more
Image

Pacifica Shipping introduces battery swap e-trucks

NZ coastal shipping operator Pacifica Shipping is introducing fully electric battery swap trucks to create one of New Zealand’s lowest emission supply chains for heavy freight. The company, a division of Swire Shipping (NZ), received NZ$252,000 in co-funding from the ...
Read more