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John Deere partnering with drone-tech startup Kespry

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

Heavy equipment makers Deere & Co (John Deere), have forged a strategic alliance with drone-tech startup Kespry, the companies announced in Las Vegas at CONEXPO, an international trade show for the construction industry. The deal could prove a boon for sales of Kespry’s drones and data analytics software. It could help John Deere tap into a new, high-tech means of …

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Trimble acquires Finnish forestry solutions companies

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

Trimble announced earlier this month that they have acquired the forestry business of Savcor Oy, a global supplier of forestry solutions for performance optimization and enterprise management as well as Silvadata, a provider of cloud-based data, collaboration and workflow automation services to smalland medium sized forestry companies. “The Savcor and Silvadata acquisitions build upon our strategy to provide global customers …

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Joint Australian & NZ research to extract LiDAR information

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

Scientists from several Australian research agencies and NZ’s SCION are collaborating in a multidisciplinary FWPA project titled “Optimizing remotely acquired, dense point cloud data for plantation inventory”. This collaborative Australian/New Zealand project brings together experts across a range of disciplines that do not reside collectively in any one institution. The project team has internationally recognised expertise in LiDAR & UAV …

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US$26million funding for AirMap for drones

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

AirMap, an airspace management platform for drones, is the latest drone company to land major investment to support explosive growth. CA-based AirMap announced a US$26 million Series B funding round led by Microsoft Ventures, with additional participation from Airbus Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures (the investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated), Rakuten, Sony, Yuneec, and existing investors General Catalyst and Lux Capital. The …

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Cooling down field data collection devices

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

Mike Scanlon, a past ForestTECH speaker with 30 years’ experience with the US Forest Service, including Mobile Architecture, replied to a posting in February. He outlined in that posting that after the November 2015 conferences, that he started working on a protective case design that included active electronic cooling. “The preliminary designs were promising” says Mike “but the feedback made …

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3D printing UAVs

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

The Military is no stranger to 3D printing, and so far we’ve seen this demonstrated in concepts for body armor and using the technology to fabricate replacement parts. Now, with the advent of some impressive and innovative unmanned aircraft systems, Army researchers are showing a new level of commitment in their exploration of 3D printing. At the US Army Expeditionary …

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Detecting wildings using Lidar and aerial imagery

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

Scientists in Scion’s Geomatics team have found that wilding conifers can be detected in grasslands using a combination of Lidar and multi-spectral values obtained from aerial imagery. Their research was recently published in the journal Remote Sensing. Self-propagating conifers are invading indigenous and semi-native grass and shrublands across large areas of New Zealand. Recent estimates place the total area affected …

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The best drones for smaller commercial operations

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

Commercial drone operators are a big market for drone manufacturers – and the market is growing fast. While industrial applications for drones are also expanding rapidly, the FAA says that 90% of new drone businesses in the US are small businesses, having one or two employees. So what drones do these businesses choose? Dronelife surveyed the global network of licensed …

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[Paper] UAVs for Forest Firefighting

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

Robin Hartley, the UAV Team Leader for Interpine, spoke at ForestTECH 2016 on using UAVs for forest fire-fighting. In a collaboration between Interpine and Massey University School of Aviation in New Zealand, rural fire zone managers were trained to operate UAVs and tests were run to determine how effective that were in real-world conditions. UAVs were fitted with thermal cameras …

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NZ & Australia partnering leading satellite trial

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

New Zealand will join Australia in a world-leading satellite technology test-bed, Transport Minister Simon Bridges has announced. The New Zealand and Australian Governments will be partners in a two-year trial of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS), and an associated programme of trials. SBAS is expected to improve air navigation, smartphone-based services, asset management and precision agriculture, and is expected to …

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[Video] The next manufacturing revolution is here

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

Economic growth has been slowing for the past 50 years, but relief might come from an unexpected place — a new form of manufacturing that is neither what you thought it was nor where you thought it was. Industrial systems thinker Olivier Scalabre details how a fourth manufacturing revolution will produce a macroeconomic shift and boost employment, productivity and growth. …

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EHang 184 transport drone works

In ForestTECH, Issue02 by FIEA

While drones are already becoming an important tool for forest management, we are only just scratching the surface of what they will be able to do. At a major electronics show in the US, Chinese company EHang showed off a working model of the EHang 184, a huge personal transport drone. We hear in the news about autonomous cars and trucks …