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Treebot Developed at The Chinese University of Hong Kong

The tree climbing robot, called Treebot, could not convince the top arborist at SAR that it could replace the role of human beings in averting tree-related mishaps. The Treebot was created by XuYangsheng at the Advanced Robotics Lab of the Chinese University.

Lam Rin-Lun Demostrating the Treebot

The robot has established itself as the only tree climbing machine that is capable of routing itself through complex branches. It is still in the experimental stages and will take another year for fine tuning its capabilities. Xu claims that the Treebot would prove to be extremely useful in monitoring trees and provide timely detection of rotting.

Jim Chi-yung, a tree expert at the University of Hong Kong, is of the opinion that using a robot in the warning systems of the tree health seems to be an impractical solution. He feels that placing numerous robots would not be useful; instead it could be placed them at the ground level itself. He continued to say that robots could be brought in to the picture after the problem has been detected rather than as warning systems.

Xu designed the Treebot drawing inspiration from the climbing action of inchworms. The robot is fitted with a camera that captures images that speak of the tree’s health. Another student at the university noted that in situations where the Treebot is required to stay on the tree for a long time, a solar panel could provide the charge needed by the battery. The research team is working on refining the Treebot’s monitoring skills when placed in a dark environment and in incorporating features like water resistance etc.

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