AVATAR – Fourth Consortium Meeting held and two contributions to NB Nord Conference

The AVATAR team had already it´s fourth consortium meeting. Due to Corona Crisis, it was held virtual. The main goal of the meeting was to network with project partners. The detailed objectives were to highlight project outcomes, to review about project activities and to agree on next activities in tasks of the different work packages and responsibilities.
The Work Package leaders gave an interesting insight into the project work of each partnering organization. The analysis of interviews with forest machine operator trainers regarding the detection of advantageous and disadvantageous working patterns of forest machine operators has been completed. Work phase detection algorithms have been developed. Sensor technology for the detection of different environmental parameters of forestry machines has been successfully applied. Studies on learning curves of forest machine operators have been conducted. In Göttingen, a study has been conducted about the effect of various parameters (loading angle, loading distance, angle of deposit of the sections) on the duration of loading cycles of the forwarder.

Two conference contributions could be placed at the NB Nord Conference:
Englund, M.; Rossander, M.; Hartsch, F.; Hoffart, E.; Dreger, F.; Björheden, R.; Manner, J. (2020): Automatic Detection of Work Elements and Disadvantageous Work Practices in Mechanized Forestry. NB Nord Conference 2020.
Khaksar, W.; Nowell, T.; Talbot, B.; Astrup, R. (2020): Direct Multi-Tree Stem Detection and Analysis from Terrestrial Lidar Data. NB Nord Conference 2020.

The overall objective of the AVATAR project is to increase operational efficiency and perceived job satisfaction in mechanized timber harvesting while reducing mental workload, by using digital coaching and feedback systems.

AVATAR – Second Consortium Meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, September 25-27, 2019

The AVATAR Team had already its second Consortium Meeting on September 25-27, 2019, in Uppsala (Sweden) with Skogforsk as the host. The main goal was to interact and network with project partners. In addition, partners informed each other about ongoing project work and next steps to progress AVATAR. A highlight of the meeting was an introduction to the successfully implemented RECO (Rational Efficient Cost Optimization) training program for forest machine operators by one of its founders, Anders Mörk. This program is based on a workflow analysis of individual operators and AVATAR is aiming to provide features for complementing. The AVATAR project in general develops quantitative support tools to coach and assist forest machine operators by providing individualized feedback at optimal times in optimal formats. A Swedish Survival Experience including a mushroom picking adventure in the vast Swedish forests topped by a moose roast exceeded all meeting expectations and generated inspiring ideas for ongoing AVATAR project work.

AVATAR Advanced Virtual Aptitude and Training Application in Real Time

The overall objective of AVATAR is to increase operational efficiency and perceived job satisfaction in mechanized timber harvesting - while reducing mental workload. Through this, the project contributes to efficiency improvements of CTL operations for enhanced timber utilization at higher value added resource recovery, alongside occupational health and safety, and thus supports the implementation of a sustainable and competitive bio-economy in Europe. Knowhow from work method instructors will be used to define quantitative measures of work performance. These measures will be further elaborated in order to investigate options to include machine on-board systems, but also sensor and scanner-based technology of data generation and sharing, to be utilized for performance evaluation, and how it can be incorporated in an individual feedback approach for coaching. Alongside the technical realization, the evolvement of a full concept to make use of the personal data of the individuals under strict compliance with the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) for a tailored feedback and coaching approach is an essential part of the whole AVATAR process.

In a nutshell, the AVATAR project will:
  • Reduce training and skills demands on new operators while reducing workload on skilled operators

  • Broaden the operator base by contributing to a more accessible, balanced and attractive work environment for both genders

  • Clarify which data are most closely associated with individual performance and how these can be gainfully used within the GDPR framework

  • Unlock the full potential of current production systems and thereby substantially reduce cost of biomass suppy

  • Increase detail data capture on European forests through promotion of CTL systems running StanForD

  • Promote R&D cooperation within and between Scandinavia and central-Europe

The project AVATAR is supported under the umbrella of ERA-NET Cofound ForestValue by the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (FNR, Germany), Forskningsradet (Research Council of Norway), The Swedish Innovation Agency (VINNOVA), The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Planning (FORMAS) and The Swedish Energy Agency (SWEA). ForestValue receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 773324.
Further information: https://forestvalue.org, https://twitter.com/AVATAR0267322, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-vCBhC8_N8