New teleoperation forest harvesting technology targets safety

New forest harvesting technology revealed in Nelson, New Zealand, sets its sights on further increasing safety in steep land harvesting operations. The new teleoperation technology provides out of harm’s way operation of a purpose-built tracked feller-buncher, from the safety of a separate operator cabin and console.

Four cameras attached to the John Deere 909 feller buncher transmit live images to three video monitors inside the operator cabin. The console with joysticks and pedals is a replica of the layout in the felling machine.

The breakthrough is part of Steepland Harvesting, a 6-year, $6 million Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme between the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and a consortium of forestry companies and contractors, led by Future Forests Research Ltd (FFR). 

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Image Credit: Future Forests Research