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UMINF 08.06

AUTONOMOUS FOREST MACHINES - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

The feasibility of using autonomous forest vehicles (which can be regarded as logical developments in the ongoing automation of forest machines), the systems that could be applied in them, their potential advantages and their limitations (in the foreseeable future) are considered here. The aims were to analyse: (1) the factors influencing the degree of automation in logging; (2) the technical principles that can be applied to autonomous forest machines, and (3) the feasibility of developing an autonomous path-tracking forest vehicle. A class of such vehicles that are believed to have considerable commercial potential is autonomous wood shuttles (forwarders). The degree of automation is influenced by increased productivity, the machine operator as a bottle-neck, cost reduction, and environmental aspects. Technical principles that can be applied to autonomous forest vehicles are satellite navigation, laser odometry, wheel odometry, laser scanner and radar. The presented system has demonstrated both possibilities and difficulties associated with autonomous forest machines. It is in a field study shown that it is quite possible for them to learn and track a path previously demonstrated by an operator with an accuracy of 0.1m on flat ground. A new pathtracking algorithm has been developed to reduce deviations by utilizing the driver’s steering commands.

Keywords

Forest technology, obstacle detection, path-tracking, robotic, system architecture.

Authors

Thomas Hellström , Pär Lärkeryd , Tomas Nordfjell and Ola Ringdahl

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Entry responsible: Ola Ringdahl

Page Responsible: Frank Drewes
2022-09-30