Seminar Series

Tree-to-tree robot: Investigation of full-scale feasibility and design concept for the maximum robot size

Speaker

Anja Eva Maria Schmerbauch

Institute

Visiting Research Assistant from TU Ilmenau

Time & Place

Wed, 09 Mar 2016 15:00:00 NZDT in Erskine Bldg, Room 031

All are welcome

Abstract

Significant numbers of trees in New Zealand are planted on steep slopes. Felling trees on steep slopes is a major problem for the Forest Industry in terms of environmental impact and safety. Mechanical harvesting using excavators, causes soil compaction and churning resulting in significant top soil runoff from the steep slope. Manual felling, on the other hand, is dangerous for workers due to unexpected falling of trees and debris. A first quarter-scale model robot was designed and built in 2013 which is able to be remotely controlled to move through a laboratory forest, from tree to tree, without touching the ground. The usage of this kind of robot in its full-size in the Forestry Industry could improve and change completely the problematic situation of steep slope harvesting. The intention of this work is to determine the feasibility and maximum size of a full-scale tree-to-tree robot. It includes the investigation of the influence of increasing robot size on properties and design parameters such as structural properties, material properties and system power requirements. Their evaluation and the investigation of the main limit for achievable robot size will lead to the assessment of feasibility of a full-size tree-to-tree robot and a design concept for the maximum size.