Currently, when trees are cut down on an industrial scale (what the expert calls "tree harvesting"), heavy wheeled or tracked vehicles are employed which were often designed for field work or building sites, and weigh up to 55 tons when loaded.
As a consequence, large areas of forest floor are destroyed, and its regeneration can last many decades. Instead of improving these systems, the mechanical engineer Christian Knobloch has invented a new movement concept from scratch by applying constructional-geometrical optimisation methods.
His "striding harvester", weighing only 7.5 tons, combines a number of valuable advantages. Like a horse's hoof, it presses down on the soil selectively, and as a result, the soil can recover much faster than it could after being heavily disturbed by conventional forestry machines. In addition, the patented concept allows for stepping over ditches and other obstacles of up to 4.6 metres wide. Marshy ground and inclines as steep as 36% are no problem for the futuristic strider.
How does this form of movement actually work? "This new striding movement has no prototype in nature", explains Christian Knobloch. "The payload moves on a kind of bridge with three cantilevered feet on each end that are able to adapt to the ground surface. After each step, a new direction can be chosen, whereby the bridge moves forwards or backwards in the stepping direction. The payload carried by the mechanism consists of a cabin, traction technology, and a telescopic crane. The payload always bears down on one of the two 'legs' or bases, which enables the unloaded base to pivot around it in a space-saving way."
The new kind of movement offers many benefits. Apart from its unequalled "step" of 8 metres, the "striding harvester" can reach trees at a distance of 10 metres within a working area of 480 square metres. The splayed out cantilevered feet provide a large platform that enables the crane to lift heavy weights in spite of the relatively light weight of the machine. All the critical areas related to the striding mechanism were analysed in detail by the creative industrial designer in his diploma thesis, which was supervised by Dr. Günter Kranke (Centre for Industrial Design, TU Dresden), and evaluated according to statics criteria.
As a by-product of the work, which deals primarily with tree harvesting, Knobloch, in collaboration with Prof. Jörn Erler, developed an idea about a simple, inexpensive and soil-friendly way of transporting felled trees. This means of transport would ideally complement the stepping machine concept, and would make the purchase of a "striding harvester" even more attractive to forest owners. Christian Knobloch discloses that potential industrial partners are already queuing up at his doorstep. The concept of constructing a "friendly, industrious, agile, and robust machine", which is much more attuned to work in the forest than any chunky tracked vehicle, has obviously worked out.
At the third "Industrial Design" symposium, to take place in the historic buildings of the Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau on the 17th and 18th of April 2009, Christian Knobloch is to be presented with the "Rudi Högner Advancement Award for Industrial Design" for his diploma thesis.Information for journalists:
PRESTO – Highly Dynamic Powerhouses
15.05.2017 | JULABO GmbH
Making lightweight construction suitable for series production
24.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences