Robots could help manage forests

Jared Keller on the new science of forestry robotics: "The vast majority of forests are destroyed by wild forest fires, and current methods of sylvan vigilance -- mainly those involved individual personnel on foot patrol -- are grossly inefficient in identifying emerging threats.

9 Responses to “Robots could help manage forests”

  1. Samuel Valentine says:

    “Robots could help manage forests…”

    By deleting all humans!

  2. Guest says:

    Kill ALL The Humans

    (the most efficient way to ‘manage’ things is to recognize the forests don’t need managing)

  3. Evanne Hunt says:

    Forests are not destroyed by fire — they are renewed, reinvigorated and replenished by fire. 

  4. Brainspore says:

    The vast majority of forests are destroyed by wild forest fires…

    When you try to put out every naturally-occurring fire before it’s allowed to run its course, fuel just continues to accumulate until you eventually get a monster-sized fire that no amount of human effort can subdue and that burns hot enough to badly damage the forest’s ability to recover.

    Better to keep a hands-off approach for the naturally occurring ones, they’re an important part of the natural ecosystem anyway.

  5. Paul Renault says:

    Wasn’t this part of the plot in one of Cory’s books?

  6. fss says:

    Everything I know about robotic forestry I learned from Chrono Trigger.

  7. Jiří Baum says:

    As a computer scientist,  I must say there are path planning algorithms much better than the one in the linked paper. Even the Wikipedia page lists several that are substantially better.

    I must also say that they tackled the easy bit (high-level path planning) and completely ignored all the difficult bits, like making a robot that can move from one square to the next without snagging on a branch, getting stuck on a root, damaging the flora and fauna, or being a danger to any human passing by. The actual fire-fighting might also need more details than just a laconic “start extinguish fire”.

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