Har­vest Nav now comes fully pack­aged

New Zealand Logger - - Forestry Innovations -

ASYSTEM THAT DE­TAILS ALL THE IN­FOR­MA­TION AND haz­ards on a har­vest­ing site is now even eas­ier to make use of. Har­vest Nav is the brain­child of forestry con­sul­tant, Dr Hamish Mar­shall, from Mar­gules Groome and it’s been in lim­ited use with some con­trac­tors in New Zealand for around three years. But a full up­date has now been launched and it’s ex­pected to be­come more widely used.

Hamish ex­plains: “The idea be­hind Har­vest Nav was to take all the spa­tial in­for­ma­tion that we have sit­ting in the of­fices, like dig­i­tal ter­rain mod­els and har­vest plans and the bound­aries that we dili­gently mark in, and lump it al­to­gether into a sin­gle pack­age.

“Tra­di­tion­ally we would print this stuff out on a map and send it out to the har­vest crew that they would have sit­ting in the smoko shed. We asked our­selves ‘why can’t we take all that in­for­ma­tion in a dig­i­tal form and put it on the machines for the guy who is ac­tu­ally go­ing to be us­ing it’.

“It was orig­i­nall de­signed for the teth­ered machines be­cause we are putting these peo­ple down these steep slopes and we’re pro­vid­ing them with ten­sion stuff, but we’re not ac­tu­ally pro­vid­ing any in­for­ma­tion about the sur­round­ing ar­eas and what sort of haz­ards there are.”

To­gether with a com­puter pro­gram­mer, Hamish put to­gether the ba­sis for the Har­vest Nav soft­ware, which could then be loaded onto any lap­top or tablet and be avail­able to the ma­chine op­er­a­tor. Us­ing GPS, a dig­i­tal ter­rain model based on LI­DAR data, it shows de­tailed har­vest area bound­aries, slope, wa­ter cour­ses, re­stricted ar­eas etc.

Har­vest Nav al­lows the ma­chine op­er­a­tor to track its ex­act lo­ca­tion in the har­vest block and see the na­ture of the ter­rain ahead in real time.

Hamish says it worked worked ex­cep­tion­ally well with crews that have used it, but the big is­sue has been hard­ware.

“The prob­lem with con­sumer-based elec­tron­ics is that they are con­stantly chang­ing, so you have a sys­tem and peo­ple get used to it and then when the con­trac­tor goes back to get another one for another ma­chine they’re told ‘sorry we don’t sell that model any more’ and they have to get some­thing dif­fer­ent and re-learn the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“So we de­cided to see if we could do an ‘out-of-the-box’ pack­age that in­cludes the soft­ware al­ready loaded onto a Win­dows-based tablet, com­plete with mount­ing bracket that can be eas­ily in­stalled, ef­fec­tively mak­ing it a plug-and-play sys­tem.”

Hamish says the fin­ish­ing touches are cur­rently be­ing put on the new Har­vest Nav pack­age and he ex­pects it will re­tail for be­tween $1000 and $1500 when it comes to mar­ket in the next few months.


Dr Hamish Mar­shall and the newly re-pack­aged Har­vestNav sys­tem.

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