A demonstration test was conducted in Yufu City, Oita Prefecture on the 12th to mow undergrowth in forests that still rely on human hands with a drone.

This demonstration experiment was conducted in a forest in Yufu City, Oita Prefecture, in order to confirm the performance of a drone for mowing undergrowth, which Kyushu Electric Power is developing in collaboration with Chiba University and others.

The prototype used in the experiment was a large drone with a total length of about 1.8 meters, and when it surfaced to a height of about 4 meters above the ground, the arm with the mower was extended toward the ground.

The mower is a type in which three wires rotate instead of a blade, and the grass that covers the ground is mowed one after another.

It takes about 5 years from planting to saplings such as cedars to mow undergrowth in the forest, but it is hard work on steep slopes and there is a risk of falling.

Kyushu Electric Power is proceeding with this development to contribute to the region by making use of the know-how of using drones for inspection of electric power equipment, and if it is put into practical use, it is expected that work efficiency will improve by about 10 times. increase.

In the future, we will make further improvements, extend the time of the battery from the current 10 minutes to about 1 hour, and use image recognition technology to prevent accidental cutting of seedlings, aiming for practical use again next year. I am.

Mr. Hiromi Sakamoto of Kyushu Electric Power said, "I have confirmed that we can actually mow the grass, so I would like to promote practical application so that it can contribute to reducing the burden on the forestry industry."