Tools for Foresters launches a collaborative new website

Researchers and those deploying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the forest will now be able to collaborate more closely using the new Tools for Foresters website as a central hub, which launched in March 2022.

The new website is designed to help develop UAV technology, as well as provide a digital platform for UAV-related research, knowledge and resources for industry users.

Scion autonomous systems scientist Robin Hartley says the Tools for Foresters group is comprised of UAV enthusiasts who have a range of research, technical skills and forestry knowledge.

“We’re happy to devote our expertise, time and energy to developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for New Zealand forestry practices. We also help with troubleshooting, informing best practice and there’s an online forum for discussion.

“The website will be especially useful for young foresters to get up to speed with technology and to gain confidence in its use,” he explains.

Port Blakely Essential Oils project director Mitch Cooke says, “It’s not in our job description as foresters to do trial and error with new technologies – we just don’t really have the time.

“There’s a lot of groundwork to get where you want to be and there has never been a good way to share this with the rest of industry until we started Tools for Foresters.”

The Tools for Foresters group is steered by a committee of 10 members from across forestry, research, firefighting and government. Group membership is open to anybody who has an interest in the forest industry. Hartley encourages people to get involved to help the industry progress the use of UAVs, with an objective for the group to eventually expand and include other new technologies.

Scion thanks the following organisations for supporting Tools for Foresters: Port Blakely Forest Management, Timberlands, Pan Pac, Te Uru Rakau Forest Products, FPS Geospatial, Envico Technologies and City Forests.

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