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New foliage sampling tool available

In Issue48, Video by FIEALeave a Comment

The DeLeaves canopy sampling tool was designed and developed in a research laboratory specializing in aerial robotics at the University of Sherbrooke, back in 2017. Suspended under an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the sampling tool is self-powered, equipped with an HD camera, and has two robotic arms there to grab and cut foliage samples from trees. In 2018, a first …

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Results from early forest fire detection technology

In Issue46, Video by FIEALeave a Comment

A new camera-based fire detection system has been trialed in Tasmania for the first time by forest management company SFM. The Firehawk system provides real time fire detection allowing for a rapid aerial-based response to potentially threatening bushfire ignitions and has been used successfully this fire season on Lenah Estate (formally Norske Skog), a 18,000 Hectare softwood plantation, located in …

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Making It Work: Forestry data firm branches into mobile technology

In Issue46, Video by FIEALeave a Comment

Treemetrics, the Cork-based forestry data company, has launched a new remote valuation tool for private forest owners in partnership with Arboreal, an iPhone app developer in Sweden. Enda Keane, Treemetrics’ co-founder and chief executive, said the company had developed technology that combines satellite imagery with mobile data to help forest owners map, value and manage their crop. He said the …

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Australian drone registration site now open

In Issue42, Video by FIEALeave a Comment

CASA’s drone registration site is now open and if you operate drones for any purpose other than just for fun, you must register them by 28 January 2021. This applies to all drones that you fly to provide any type of service – no matter how much it weighs. Be sure you know about all the drones used in your …

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Nine SuperDoves for next Rocket Lab launch

In Issue41, Video by FIEALeave a Comment

Editors Update: Rocket Lab successfully launched on 28 October 2020 (see a video of the launch below). Planet’s next scheduled launch of Flock 4e’, a total of 9 SuperDoves on Rocket Lab’s Electron, is currently planned for the first half of October and will lift off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula in New Zealand. Emerging …

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New drone technology promises a 5-minute recharge

In Issue40, Video by FIEALeave a Comment

Twelve months ago, ultra-fast charging (UFC) pioneer, StoreDot, achieved a world first with its partner BP by successfully fully-charging a two-wheeled electric vehicle in just 5 minutes. Today, the company is launching its award-winning UFC technology for the drone industry, having achieved its mission of fully-charging a commercial drone in five minutes – another world first. This milestone overcomes two …

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GDC drones prove worth

In Issue40, Video by FIEALeave a Comment

Drones have become a valuable asset for the Gisborne District Council. with three machines proving their worth several times over. Use of the drones has grown extensively over the three years since the council got its first machine, says council principal scientist Murry Cave. The three drones are a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, a Mavic and a waterproof one. The …

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Aerial tree planting systems being showcased

In Issue40, Video by FIEALeave a Comment

ForestTECH is this region’s most popular annual independent forestry technology series. This year, in addition to advances being made in remote sensing and forest inventory, for the first time, one of the two days has been set aside to profile the very latest developments in forest establishment, mechanised planting and silviculture. As well as the very latest results and lessons …

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Drone ‘mosaic’ to help environmental management

In Issue37, Video by FIEA

A drone “mosaic” of harvested forestry blocks is letting Marlburians see the wood for the trees, and could cut down environmental issues. In New Zealand, Marlborough company GeoInsight Limited is using drones, 360-degree cameras and an e-bike to “stitch together” images of forestry blocks and help the Marlborough District Council streamline compliance checks. Of the council’s 17 monitoring programmes, forestry …

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Remotely operated robot herds NZ sheep

In Issue36, Video by FIEA

In recent tech events run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association we’ve profiled world leading robotics technologies that are being developed by US-based robotics company, Boston Dynamics. Their “dog-like” Spot robot can now be remotely controlled from anywhere in the world thanks to a partnership with cloud-based software platform Rocos. To demonstrate its new capabilities the US team remotely monitored …

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Tree planting drones working on forest restoration

In Issue36, Video by FIEA

On land north of Toronto that previously burned in a wildfire, drones are hovering over fields and firing seed pods into the ground, planting native pine and spruce trees to help restore habitat for birds. Flash Forest, the Canadian start-up behind the project, plans to use its technology to plant 40,000 trees in the area this month. By the end …

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Entel AI and DataRobot use AI to fight forest fires

In Issue35, Video by FIEA

Climate change and catastrophic weather phenomena dominated much of the global headlines in 2019, with devastating reports of earthquakes, hurricanes, and other powerful forces of nature destroying homes and lives. Some of the starkest images were those of raging wildfires that wiped out not only homes but also huge swathes of natural land, from Australia to California and dozens of …

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What is Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging?

In Issue35, Video by FIEA

Been wanting to know more about Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging? To appreciate the significance of airborne hyperspectral imaging, Analytik has created an informative video to understand what hyperspectral imaging is, and how it works. Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging (or Remote Sensing) collects and process information across different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum via an aerial vehicle, such as a drone. Hyperspectral Imaging Sensors …

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NASA’s new global groundwater maps

In Issue35, Video by FIEA

NASA researchers have developed new satellite-based, weekly global maps of soil moisture and groundwater wetness conditions and one to three-month U.S. forecasts of each product. While maps of current dry/wet conditions for the United States have been available since 2012, this is the first time they have been available globally. “The global products are important because there are so few …

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Surveying seedlings for precision forestry

In Issue34, Video by FIEA

In the last few decades, the forestry sector has embraced a range of new precision management tools and techniques to manage forests on a new scale. Precision management is based on the concept that big productivity gains can come from smaller-scale, tailored management techniques. To continue this evolution, the forestry sector will require new technologies for data capture, giving rise …

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Climate right for raising tech funds

In Issue33, Video by FIEA

Startups are capitalising on renewed interest in environmental solutions after Australia’s bushfires brought climate change to the front of investors’ minds.  “We’ve got a problem in front of us. If we don’t act, it will get worse. Where there’s a problem, there’s a market,” co-founder of AirSeed Technologies Andrew Walker said.  Late last year in the Friday Offcuts newsletter, we covered the …

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World’s first autonomous UAV flight under a forest canopy?

In Issue32, Video by FIEA

An unmanned aerial vehicle made what is believed to be the world’s first autonomous flight under a forest canopy in Rotorua, New Zealand in late November 2019. Remote sensing scientists from Scion have been working with Emesent, a company who specialises in designing automated systems to collect spatial data in challenging environments, to test out the Hovermap navigation system in …

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500 billion trees by 2060 – using drones

In Issue32, Video by FIEA

• UK company Dendra plans to plant 500 billion trees by 2060 – using AI and drones.• The drones can plant 120 seedpods per minute.• The WWF estimates we’re losing 27 football fields of forest every minute due to deforestation. A drone can plant two trees per second, according to UK tech company Dendra, which is aiming to “re-green” the …

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Huge autonomous drone completes maiden flight

In Issue32, Video by FIEA

Another delivery drone has just buzzed into view, and this one’s a giant. Built by aerospace manufacturer Bell, the Autonomous Pod Transport 70 — or APT 70 for short — is a 180-cm-tall Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft that can carry cargo weighing up to 70 pounds at a top speed of 100 mph. Range comes in at 18 …

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UAV advancements for forest inventory

In Issue28, Video by FIEA

Every year, over 250 resource managers, remote sensing, GIS and mapping specialists, inventory foresters and technology providers from throughout Australasia (and more recently SE Asia) meet up at the annual ForestTECH technology series. Since 2007, it’s the one event every year that’s run in both Australia and New Zealand focussing on this particular part of the forestry industry. In a …

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Drone swarms for tree planting and spraying operations

In Issue27, Video by FIEA

Towards the end of last year we covered an article about a Seattle Startup company, DroneSeed that was automating tree planting and spraying operations using drones. Their custom UAV platforms, equipped with multispectral camera arrays, high-end lidar, 23 litre tanks of herbicide and proprietary seed dispersal mechanisms at the time had been hired by several major forest management companies, with …

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Hi-tech shirt for forestry workers

In Issue27, Video by FIEA

A shirt with built-in sensors could help reduce fatalities in New Zealand’s forestry industry. Researchers at the University of Waikato are developing a hi-tech way to keep forestry workers safe on the job, with a ‘smart shirt’ the leading contender. Using sensors on the front of the shirt to monitor heart-rate variability and others on the back to measure perspiration, …

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Unmanned Helicopter for Heavy Lifts

In Issue26, Video by FIEA

A Robinson R22 helicopter was converted by UAVOS to an unmanned drone. UAVOS— which specializes in the design, development and manufacturing of unmanned vehicles and autopilot systems — successfully completed in-air programmed missions with the unmanned helicopter. The first flight this spring of the modernized helicopter lasted more than one hour and was performed in a fully self-piloted mode, reaching an altitude of up …

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SpaceX goes big for launch

In ForestTECH, Issue26, Video by FIEA

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Elon Musk, successfully launched in May its first five dozen Starlink telecommunications satellites. This is the first step in the Starlink project, which aims to create an ultra-fast global internet service. SpaceX broadcast the inaugural Starlink mission, which launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 10:30 p.m. ET. A little more than an hour after liftoff, …

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Amazon’s new transforming Prime Air delivery drone

In Issue26, Video by FIEA

Amazon has unveiled the latest version of its Prime Air delivery drone, a hybrid aircraft that’s capable of vertical takeoff and landing as well as sustained forward flight. The company says it wants to launch a delivery service using the drone in “the coming months,” but has not said where this might take place or how many customers it might cover. …

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Introducing Scale-Up NZ: The gateway to innovation ecosystem

In Issue24, Video by FIEA

A free online platform has just been launched to connect New Zealand businesses with funders, incubators, multinationals and other collaborators. Scale-Up NZ, from Callaghan Innovation, shines a light on our thriving innovation ecosystem.It delivers accurate insights on ambitious, innovative New Zealand companies, removing information gaps that too often prevent our businesses from achieving their potential. The late physicist and entrepreneur …

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World-First Approval For Drone Deliveries Of Food And Medicine In Australia

In Issue24, Video by FIEA

Google’s parent company has launched a world-first commercial air delivery business in Canberra’s north, delivering gelato and golfing equipment by drone directly to homes. Wing, run by Google’s overarching company Alphabet, has been trialling delivering burritos, coffee and medication by drone in a suburb on the fringes of Canberra for a year. For months, a depot in Canberra’s industrial suburb …

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Trimble Unveils Next-gen Mixed-reality Device with Microsoft HoloLens 2

In ForestTECH, Issue23, Video by FIEA

Trimble has announced a new wearable hard hat compatible device that enables workers in safety-controlled environments to access holographic information on the worksite—the Trimble® XR10 with HoloLens 2. In addition, an expanded set of Trimble software and services will be available to provide field-oriented workflows that leverage constructible 3D models and mixed reality to solve daily work tasks. The announcement …

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Drone sets a new world record

In ForestTECH, Issue22, Video by FIEA

During FPT Industrial’s Tech day, FPT Industrial and Forvola broke the Guinness World Record for the heaviest payload lifted by a drone. With 16 propellers giving it enough oomph to lift hefty objects, Forvola’s megadrone lifted a 5 ft. box of FPT Industrial spare parts that weighed in at about 220 lbs. The drone held this weight for more than …

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Delair Launches Aerial Intelligence Platform

In Issue22, Video by FIEA

Delair, a leading supplier of commercial drone solutions, has unveiled Delair Aerial Intelligence, a comprehensive platform for converting drone-based images into actionable business insights. The new cloud-based solution provides a complete integrated workflow to manage, analyse and share data, streamlining the process for unlocking the true potential of aerial surveying. Industry-optimised analytics for a wide range of specific industries and …

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Drone delivery takes off in Australia

In ForestTECH, Issue20, Video by FIEA

At Amsterdam Drone Week, James Burgess of Google X spinoff Wing showed a system of drone delivery that’s made over 2500 customer flights in a test outside of Canberra, Australia. In the last nine months, Wing – graduated from Project X and now independent under parent company Alphabet – has worked on a widespread test of drone delivery in a …

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DroneSeed automating tree planting

In ForestTECH, Issue20, Video by FIEA

Wildfires are consuming North American forests and grasslands faster than we can replace them. It’s a vicious cycle of destruction and inadequate restoration rooted, so to speak, in decades of neglect of the institutions and technologies needed to keep these environments healthy. DroneSeed is a Seattle-based start-up that aims to combat this growing problem with a modern toolkit that scales: …