Drone to do tim­ber stock-take

New Zealand Logger - - Woodtech 2017 -

THE TE­DIOUS – AND SOME­TIMES HAZ­ARDOUS – TASK OF STOCK­tak­ing in a tim­ber yard could soon be au­to­mat­i­cally han­dled by a drone.

Auck­land-based com­pany, Tim­berS­mart, which de­vel­ops in­for­ma­tion sys­tems es­pe­cially for the sawmilling and tim­ber in­dus­tries is cur­rently work­ing on a sys­tem that would see a cam­er­ae­quipped drone fly around the yard and record tim­ber stacks.

The new sys­tem, still un­der de­vel­op­ment, com­bines the re­cent ad­vances in drone tech­nol­ogy with the Tim­berS­mart soft­ware that iso­lates bar­codes in the video frames and trans­lates them into read­able data that goes di­rectly into the sys­tem data­base. This tech­nol­ogy works in a sim­i­lar way to how bar­codes are cur­rently read with a hand-held scan­ner.

Brenda Ran­gi­tu­tia, from Tim­berS­mart, told the WoodTECH 2017 con­fer­ence in Ro­torua that there are sev­eral advantages to hav­ing drones do stock-tak­ing in a tim­ber yard. They can ob­vi­ously com­plete the task quicker than some­one on foot, but the most ob­vi­ous rea­son is re­mov­ing peo­ple from the vicin­ity of high stacks that may be un­sta­ble.

An as­so­ci­ated ad­van­tage of this ap­proach is the abil­ity to record the im­age of the ac­tual la­bel which can be stored for au­dit­ing pur­poses.

The com­pany says that fu­ture ap­pli­ca­tions of this tech­nol­ogy could see drones record­ing in­for­ma­tion from RFID tags/la­bels on logs at har­vest­ing sites.

In re­cent years cam­era-equipped drones have be­come smaller, qui­eter and much more af­ford­able, with some highly pro­fes­sional ver­sions cost­ing as lit­tle as $1,500.


Drones could be used to do stock-tak­ing in tim­ber yards.

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