How to mechanise tree planting in North American logged sites?
Trees are presently hand planted.
Preliminary exploration identified the following collection of sub-problems.
Vehicle: How to carry tools reliably and cost effectively over rough obstacle
Results: U.S.A. - patent granted
European Patent Office - patent granted
Canada - patent granted
The patents cover the main form and mode of operation of a
simple but unconventional vehicle.
How to mechanise the handling and placement of trees? Results: Two International Patents allowed. They cover a magazine/feed
mechanism and a placement mechanism. They form a planting
tool. One man guides the vehicle/tool system. An array of planting tools
is carried. Two problems arise from the need to make guidance
manageable and the planting rate fast enough. Spacing: How to cause the members of a collection of simultaneously
operating tools to space themselves appropriately the spacing being
driven by machine perceived cues? Choice: How to cause a tool to move to and halt over a plan table spot,
tool action being driven by machine perceived cues? Results: One International Patent allowed. Spacing: A conceptual solution is described. Choice: A semi-automatic solution is described. It involves a system of tool
guidance and a system of tool set-up, both light guided. Two
methods for the detection of light signals in the presence of
sunlight have been investigated. Choice-automatic; two solutions
have been explored. One uses standard data processing, the other
"parallel" processing. Here an idealised device is described which
will compare for likeness two two-dimensional patterns.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.