Digital Perception Technology Enabling Future Forestry 

The forestry sector is standing before unprecedented challenges in adapting to increased demand for sustainable raw materials, carbon storage, biodiversity conservation and a shortage of highly skilled machine operators. Digital tools, precision forestry and automation will play a crucial role in meeting these challenges. NFA is in the business of creating such tools. We are starting out with a sensor based operator support system for forest harvesting machines. 

Stand-alone system

Our support system continuously detects, positions, measures and classifies all trees around the machine. It also measures the position and orientation of the machine itself with cm-accuracy. Using this information, the system provides:

Together, 1 and 2 enable systematic implementation of best practice forest management strategies, full transparency and quality assurance of the harvesting operation. The system is fully stand-alone, and can be retro-fitted to any machine. Optionally, it can be integrated with existing production/GIS-systems

Simple and intuitive user interface

The current user interface shows a live, third person view of the harvester, providing at-a-glance situational awareness based on the following components:

The default view follows the cabin movements in real time, such that there is always a clear connection between the user interface and the view outside the machine.

Operator/Subcontractor Perspective

In the past year, we have done 120+ hours of user testing with many operators from different organizations, in which we have identified the following benefits to the operator: 

From a subcontractor or fleet operator perspective, this translates to cost efficient, high quality harvesting with any forest management strategy. 

“This definitely increases productivity, since I always know how I'm doing.  If you get uncertain and hesitate, productivity goes way down” 

“Just for beginners? No - even the most experienced can benefit from direct feedback”

Forest Owner Perspective

The combination of digital operator support and high resolution follow-up report ensures quality assured precision harvesting

People & partners

The people behind NFA is a group of PhDs in the fields of robotics, autonomous vehicles and computer vision, with a hands-on approach to their work, and life-long experience from small-scale forestry. The journey started back in 2017, with the realization that the technology we developed in our respective research fields could be used to tackle many of the challenges facing the forestry sector. Skogstekniska Klustret got us in contact with a group of insightful speaking partners in the industry, who encouraged us to apply our technology to operator support for harvesting machines. Looking forward, we see a huge potential for using NFAs core technology in an array of products that will continue to support operators in the transition to precise and sustainable forestry. 

Co-Founder & CEO Lars Svensson installing an early prototype of the sensor module