There is a lot of exciting TreeRover news to talk about! First we would like to announce that the TreeRover will be on display at DEMO International September 22nd -24th at the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge, BC. Come by the tree planting area to check out our new prototype planting mechanism.
Early this summer, Iota Technologies was approached by a team of UVic mechanical engineering students, lead by Kyle White, with an offer to do some work on the TreeRover for their final design project course. Kyle had already contributed to the TreeRover prototype by 3D printing the rack and pinion used in the reload mechanism.
A deal was made, and Iota Technologies grew! The team has worked hard over the summer to produce an upgraded planting mechanism for the TreeRover. The criteria was that it must be capable of planting a seedling successfully in “hard pack soil”. They have succeeded and the new planting mechanism is able to plant in extremely hard ground. It can even plants trees in a dense grassy lawn!
The original planting mechanism had many flaws and there was plenty of room for improvement. It was very limited in the types of soil it could successfully plant a tree in. The rate at which it could plant was also quite slow. Many of these problems stemmed from the fact that the whole system operated on compressed air. It seemed like a great idea at first, but compressing all that air required a lot of work. Our little onboard compressor was extremely slow and it ate up a lot of battery power. Even if we could have solved the compressor problem though, the force required to penetrate really hard soil with the planting spike was just too much for a pneumatic system.
The new planting mechanism is similar to the original one in some ways, but instead of using pneumatic actuators, it uses electric linear actuators made by Firgelli Automations. We would like to thank Firgelli Automations for their sponsorship! The other key upgrade that allows the new machine to plant in such tough conditions is the new tiller, which softens up the planting site before the spike is inserted.
Although we could only afford to upgrade the TreeRover’s planting mechanism for now, the mech team has used their CAD skills to redesign the entire TreeRover. In the Gallery you can find some renderings of the new design which includes a track system to replace the current wheels. We hope to be able to implement these changes soon!
Below is a photo of the entire team (minus Matt Mundell) presenting their new planting mechanism at UVic.
We have recently finished editing all of the video footage that we collected during our February planting trial at the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest. Personalized video clips have been emailed to all of our campaign contributors showing their trees being planted by the TreeRover. The videos can be viewed on our Youtube channel.
We are excited about upcoming developments for the TreeRover project and look forward to keeping you posted as we progress.
The TreeRover has successfully planted 102 trees at UBC’s Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge BC. Each tree was dedicated to a supporter of the TreeRover project. We are currently in the process of organizing the video footage and creating unique clips for each supporter showing their trees being planted. Stay tuned!
Hello TreeRover fans and supporters! It has been far too long since we made a blog post and we wanted to give you an update on some exciting developments with the TreeRover project.
Next week we will be traveling to Vancouver to participate in the BCTechSummit. The Summit is two day event at the Vancouver Convention Center aimed at showcasing BC’s technology sector. The TreeRover will be on display both days (January 18th and 19th) at the FPInnovations outdoor exhibit and at the Career Showcase. Also, Nick will be speaking as part of a “student innovators” panel discussion on the afternoon of the 19th. We are both really looking forward to this opportunity!
Iota Enterprises would like to say a big final thank you to all of our generous Indiegogo supporters! Your contributions enabled us to meet and surpass our fundraising goal by 32%! Thank you! It has been a tremendous journey from our humble beginnings at the start of the summer (see picture below). While we are taking a brief hiatus this fall to focus on our university courses, we are looking forward to resuming TreeRover development in the new year and planting all of your trees in the spring! Thank you for your support!
Iota Enterprises is proud to announce that we have reached our $5,000 fund raising goal! We would like to thank all of our generous supporters who have helped us along the way.
Yesterday we took the TreeRover to FPInnovations for a demo. We got to tour the facility, meet a lot of really great people, and received some valuable advice on our project. We also received a very generous donation which has helped us reach our initial goal for the crowd funding campaign. So we would like to say a big thank you to Al, Christie, and the boys for helping us acheive our goal!
We would also like to thank Dave and the kind staff at FPInnovations for having us over for a visit. It was a fantastic experience and we will not forget it!
We are proud to announce that we are over half way to our Indiegogo fundraising goal (http://igg.me/at/treerover/x/11687827) thanks to all our generous contributors! This project wouldn’t be possible without you! You can help make sure we reach our goal by continuing to spread the word about the campaign!
The last five days has been a flurry of media requests and TreeRover demonstrations. The picture below shows the most recent video interview taking place (today).