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Automatic forrest cleaning

Concept model of a automatic forrest cleaning machine

Forest cleaning (pre commercial thinning) has over the last years become more expensive compared to other forest operations. As a result, the annually cleaned area in Sweden has decreased, which in the long run has negative effects on the regrowth and quality of the stands. A major reason for the high cleaning cost is that itís time-consuming and consequently the driver becomes a proportionally expensive part of the system.

Would an automated forest machine be able to replace a driver-controlled vehicle? Is it even realistic to think of this kind of heavy machines driving around in the forest, without the supervision of a human eye? And what kind of problems would we have to solve if we want to create one?

In this concept model we post and answer some of the questions concerning automated forest thinning. This robot can search, identify and localize trees in a complex environment.

So how does it work?

The robot is about to cut down some trees. But not just any tree. In this demonstration it will only cut the fir, and leave the birch. The robot begins by targeting the first tree.

When it has selected a tree it aproaches it and "cuts" it down.

When the tree is down it goes back start to search for another fir.

This demonstration setup was made for the Technical Fair 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden. You can download teh full movie here. (Require divx-5 codec).

Department of Computing Science
Umeå University
Last modified: 2010-08-16
Webmaster: Erik Billing