FireSmart Robot – Phase 2: Development of a harvest robot for use in FireSmart and Forest Operations
FPInnovations and Scion have completed an initial Business Case and schematics of an autonomous ‘harvesting robot’ that could be used for FireSmart activities around communities as well as pre-commercial thinning in forest operations. The autonomous robot is designed to move from tree-to-tree while thinning unwanted trees. It moves independent of the ground surface so theoretically can operate above uneven ground.
Many communities across the boreal require protective actions be taken against the possibility of wildfires moving into their boundaries. This involves many thousands of hectares making the cost of manual treatments very high. It is anticipated that this robot could be a possible economic solution.
Possible uses of the robot include: thinning of black spruce or pine stands around communities; dangerous tree removal on wildfires and pre-commercial thinning/pruning of forest stands by industry.