Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tree harvesting - with giant steps through the forest

08.04.2009
The mechanical engineer and industrial designer Christian Knobloch has invented a novel movement concept for heavy machines as his diploma thesis. It enables such machines to make steps of up to 8 metres in length, to function on marshy ground and on slopes, and even to elegantly surmount obstacles.

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:
Christian Knobloch, Tel. +49 160 - 99612936,
E-Mail: christian_knobloch@gmx.net
Dr. Günter Kranke, Tel. +49 351 463-35755,
E-Mail: guenter.kranke@tu-dresden.de
Information about the symposium:
3rd Symposium Technisches Design Dresden 2009 (17-18 April 2009)
Organiser: Freunde und Förderer des Technischen Designs an der TU
Dresden e.V.
Location: "Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau", Moritzburger
Weg 67, 01109 Dresden

Kim-Astrid Magister | idw
Further information:
http://www.technischesdesign.org
http://www.tu-dresden.de

More articles from Machine Engineering:

nachricht Satellite-based Laser Measurement Technology against Climate Change
17.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht LZH optimizes laser-based CFRP reworking for the aircraft industry
24.11.2016 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Machine Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>