remote controlled tree climbing robot that moves from tree to tree to carry out remote thinning operations in the forest
Tree to Tree - a remote controlled prime mover for forest management by Scion, FPInnovations & inFact.
inFact have developed in collaboration with Scion scientists and
FPInnovations, a heavy-duty remotely controlled robot capable of moving from tree to tree to carry out forest thinning operations safely, in difficult to access areas.
Scion’s scientists have proven that a free standing, two-armed robot can successfully support it’s own weight and move from tree stem to tree stem. The challenge, for inFact, was to develop a ruggedised functional robot that could be manufactured for large scale deployment in the world’s forests.
Researchers are using this to advance the technology used in forestry to promote safety and forest management in hard to reach places.
The collaboration is now looking at securing the next round of funding to commercialise the product and establish channel partners and manufacturing capability.
Scion and FPInnovations engaged inFact to translate general requirements for performance and functionality into the existing robot prototype, enabling it to cut down trees and demonstrate to prospective stakeholders the benefits and advantages of the tree robot.
inFact worked with Scion and FPInnovations to define a development plan and requirements specification to attract funding and market engagement for this project.
inFact engineers researched and experimented with a variety of approaches to resolve key technical and engineering challenges, including solving load bearing equations to ensure weight to strength ratio is optimised.
Our engineers implemented compliant joints to manipulate tree angles and added a battery powered forest deployable chainsaw to cut down trees during demonstrations.
The control system was upgraded to provide an industry standard bus that, will in future connect to industrial grade actuators and control interfaces.
The Tree to Tree robot is now validated as a feasible mechanical engineering
concept, fit for purpose robot for the forestry environment.
The design incorporates standard technology typically used in forestry equipment manufacturing, so that the device can be translated into known manufacturing environments.