New Chainsaw Drone Technology Deployed to Fight the Rapid ‘Ohia’ Death

New Chainsaw Drone Technology Deployed to Fight the Rapid ‘Ohia’ Death

A new aerial chainsaw device could aid the fight to save airy‘s Oh! That is the matter Trees being put to the test from a deadly fungal pathogen University of airy in hilo Geographer. Professor ryan peroy And his research team has developed a drone attachment capable of taking samples of tree branches for diagnostic laboratory testing and other purposes.

The device consists of a small rotating chainsaw with a robotic gripper claw attached to the bottom of the drone

The device, named Kukuau, consists of a small rotating chainsaw with a robotic gripper claw beneath a drone, and can cut and retrieve branches up to seven centimeters in diameter. Samples are collected for diagnostic testing of forest fungal pathogens, including those responsible for rapid Undoubted Death (bar,

“There have been times when we have detected a Oh! That is the matter The tree is suspected of being infected with the pathogen responsible for rapid Undoubted death, but because of the location, it was too dangerous or problematic to send field crews out to sample it for confirmation,” Peroy said. “Cuckoo has the potential to help in situations like this.”

The state-of-the-art instrument was developed by Peroy and his team in collaboration with researchers ETH a public research university in Zurich, Switzerland, the US Department of Agriculture and RAndR Machining/Welding in Hilo On airy island. Peroy’s research on aerial branch sampling was recently published and featured on the cover of the journal drone,

Three men in hard hats and hi viz shirts work on a drone in a field
From left: uh Hilo researchers Roberto Rodriguez, Ryan Peroy and Shawna Blackford activate drone device

Project funding was provided by the US Department of the Interior’s Office of Native Hawaiian Relations, the National Park Service and Conservation X Labs. uh Awarded Academy for Creative Media 3d Printer used in the project.

cuckoo is the name of one Beautiful! (land subdivision) in the Hilo area, and is also a word for a type of crab, metopograpsus thukuharOr alamihi in Hawaiian.

significant revision

drone operator

Researcher on ETH Zürich had previously developed a drone attachment capable of chopping small tree branches, however, when uh The tool the Hilo team used found that twig samples were often too small to detect fungal pathogens. In July 2019, Peroy’s team collaborated with Swiss researchers and a Hilo welding company to develop a new drone attachment equipped to cut large branches.

“We successfully detected the targeted fungal pathogen from collected branches and found that branch diameter, leaf appearance and condition, as well as wood moisture content, are important factors in pathogen detection in sampled branches,” explained Peroy.

None of the small branch samples tested positive c lukuhia, while 77% of samples from the largest diameter branch gave positive results. Research shows that the new branch sampler, capable of retrieving large branches, provides the right size for a high rate of successful diagnostic testing.

Since 2014, researchers have discovered bar hundreds of thousands of adults were killed Oh! That is the matter The tree (Metrosideros polymorpha) continues to spread further throughout the Hawaiian Islands. bar Caused by two invasive fungi, ceratocystis huliohia And ceratocystis lukuhiaand has the potential to irreversibly alter some native Hawaiian ecosystems.

More uh hilo aerial survey research

two people looking at computer monitor
uh Hilo researchers analyze data from aerial surveys to map problem areas

Peroy is the principal investigator uh move Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization LaboratoryA research unit applying geospatial tools to local environmental problems airy and Pacific region. His team is working on locating bar and populations of invasive species in forests airy Using high-resolution cameras and other sensors carried by drones and helicopters. The images and data collected provide managers with valuable time to respond to outbreaks, and give scientists a better understanding of how diseases and invasive species spread.

In 2019, Peroy won $70,000 in a contest Sponsored by the National Park Service for its innovative use of drones and remote sensing equipment to locate bar, During the past three years, Peroy and his team have continued to improve and refine the equipment needed for air sampling using a small evacuated air system.

Tops destroy ohia trees
rapid graying of affected Oh! That is the matter Tree crowns. (Photo credit: Department of Land and Natural Resources)

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