Today the future is knocking on the door! Well, actually it´s already in. Today an autonomous forestry machine “laboratory” is being demonstrated for the first time by Luleå Technical University (LTU). The machine is not a prototype or a commercial product. It´s a test rig to try out new technologies for forest machines.
Autonomous machine concept
The Terrain Vehicle Platform (TFP, Swedish abbreviation) is part of a research project that aims to have a look at what could be done with a machine without an operator. It´s important to point out that this is a laboratory, not a prototype. It´s a base unit on which it will be explored what could be done with already existing technologies within electronics and mechanics.
Much is normal
Much is normal on the TFP. It has a diesel engine and a normal driveline. It has four pendulum arms with one wheel on each. The crane is a normal forwarder crane. The weight is 10 tons.
But everything that has to do with an operator is replaced by loads of technology. Sensors, computers, more sensors and computers, to measure, sense and steer the machine. To “see” obstacles and avoid them. To find the right path and to optimize the work. To help with this a drone will be involved.
Please don´t mix this machine up with a remote-controlled machine, that actually has an operator, who is just sitting somewhere else but on the machine. This one will have no operator.
We will get back to this in a longer article soon.
Here are a couple more photos and two film clips signed LTU.