Robotic tree feller to improve operational safety

The forestry industry in New Zealand has unveiled a robotic tree logger to improve operational safety, reduce injuries and boost production. Future Forests Research (FFR) chief executive Russell Dale described the technology as a world leader which would go a long way to reducing forestry accidents.

The new technology allows an operator to control a John Deere 909 tracked felling machine from a distance by using a computer gaming-style controller. As well as direction, the operator can guide a giant arm to clamp around the tree stump and use an attached chainsaw to cut it down.

It has taken three years of design and engineering research by an FFR team involving Scion, Cutover Systems and ADM Design, working with harvesting contractor Wood Contracting Nelson.

Contractor Ross Wood said mechanisation in the forests he managed had increased productivity from 200 tonnes a day to 350 tonnes a day.

Click here for source (

Photo: FIEA