Researchers develop unmanned forestry machine

Friday 23 Feb 2024

In a groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Field Robotics, researchers assessed the world’s first unmanned machine designed for autonomous forestry operations. By leveraging computer vision, autonomous navigation, and manipulator control algorithms, this newly developed machine can safely and accurately pick up logs from the ground and navigate through diverse forest terrains without human intervention.

This achievement marks a significant milestone in the field of autonomous outdoor robotics, potentially reducing the need for human labour, enhancing productivity, and curbing labour costs while minimising the environmental impact of timber harvesting.

Corresponding author Pedro La Hera, PhD, from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, emphasised that these technological advancements not only improve timber harvesting efficiency but also promote sustainable forestry practices. Automated operations can minimise collateral damage to adjacent ecosystems, making them more ecologically friendly. 

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Source and image credit: Wiley

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