ForestTECH News Issue 13 Summary

Welcome to this month’s issue of ForestTECH News.

This month we’ve included a couple of stories to get you thinking. Firstly, VR. At last year’s ForestTECH event, local forestry companies for the first time got a chance to look through a VR headset. The research and presentation was able to highlight the potential use of Virtual Reality for future forest inventory.

The FWPA funded research was aimed at exploring new tools which would enable users to extract key tree measurements such as diameter, height, sweep and branching from data collected from terrestrial or airborne platforms with photogrammetric or LiDAR technologies. A follow-up workshop was also held at the HIT Lab in Launceston, Tasmania in early December. As evidenced by the long lines of foresters using the VR headset in Rotorua and Melbourne for the first time, the technology and the concept was pretty exciting.

The technology is being rolled out in Europe as well. Finnish forestry and tech companies Metsa Group, Tieto and CTRL Reality have just built the first version of their own virtual forest and it’s expected to be up and running later this year. Like the ForestTECH demos last year, the virtual forest runs using a VR headset. However, in addition to using the technology for forest inventory purposes, strapping on the VR headset and stepping into the virtual forest is according to Metsa going to open a raft of exciting new opportunities for forest owners and managers.

The second story profiled is linked to using sensors – not in forest – but being worn by an employee. If you’re looking to keep fatigued employees from working in high risk occupations or sites – like felling, breaking out or on a wood processing machine centre, how about incorporating some sensors into their hard hats? Sensors that pick up on the emotions of workers are already been used in China for some of their “higher risk occupations”. Devices using artificial intelligence to monitor workers emotions are now being worn. Stressed workers can be identified and then corresponding actions to help them and their co-workers taken.

A number of other stories including selecting a drone for aerial mapping and the setting up of a new partnership that plans to offer a combined service for customers with aerial data from Airbus Aerial’s satellites and manned aircraft and DroneBase’s network of drone pilots being supplied. Enjoy this month’s tech update.

Remember, if you have a story, article or link that you can share, if you have just published some research in this area and would like another platform to disseminate information to your peers or to the wider industry or if you have information on a new product or innovation that you’d like to share, get in touch by emailing: brent.apthorp@fiea.org.nz.

Stories this issue:

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