Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Timberjack Walking Machine


When I designed the walking vehicles for the Dinotopia prequel universe in First Flight (1999), I scarcely could have imagined the actual machines that were already emerging from engineers’ drawing boards.


The PlusTech Oy company, a division of John Deere, unveiled a prototype for a walking timber harvester called the Timberjack. It may be a little slow, but it has adjustable ground clearance, automatic leveling, and the ability to walk sideways, never mind what it does to trees.
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Thanks, Art! Previous GJ Posts:
Walking Vehicles, part 1, link.
Walking Vehicles, part 2, link.
Sultan's Elephant, link.

14 comments:

Erik Bongers said...

Anyone who has walked through a forest that had been visited by timberjacks' tractors knows the devastating effect these wheels have on the ground and roots of trees, resulting in tracks several feet deep, not to mention the higher risk for erosion.
In that sense this masjiene is far more gentile. But I wonder what it's energy consumption is in comp. to a traditional tractor.

Drew said...

I imagine it might be comparable, maybe a little higher. At the very least, it might be more of an investment of time since it can't trudge through a forest yet.

This thing though doesn't give me the willies like that robot mule walker designed to carry military gear...

Random York said...

Wow! What a neat machine! I'd like to have a giant inchworm cycle myself!

Dan Gurney said...

Can't nevermind the trees.

--The Lorax

Sean Craven said...

There's a machine pretty much like this in a short story in Dean Ing's collection Firefight 2000...

Frank P. Ordaz said...

Jim.

Just a matter of time before someone will post that you are promoting THE ultimate raping machine of Endangered RainForests. :v)


Not I.

James Gurney said...

Frank and Dan, I'll leave the judgment about whether these machines are good or evil to someone else. I don't know enough about them, really, and I'm certainly not promoting them. Like most people, I suppose I'm simultaneously fascinated and repelled by such mechanical marvels.

Frank P. Ordaz said...

Jim,

You've expressed my views on much modernism. 'Fascinated and Repelled"

Eric Orchard said...

man, this is too exciting. I love it when life imitates art. A very cool machine. Your is better though.

Trish said...

Frank, "Can't you feel it's PAIN???" XD

Honestly, a machine that can pick it's way through the forest and take down one carefully selected tree at a time looks like it'd be far kinder, ecology-wise, than, say, the usual fleet of bulldozers.

Patrick Waugh said...

It's really interesting, but it's only a matter of time before it's turned into a military vehicle.

Amrit Ray said...

I don't see any other use for this anyway, other than military. Or may be amusement parks.Joy

Jen said...

It is awesome yet somehow creepy...though not as downright unnerving as this is: http://www.danbartlett.net/pics/bucketwheel/bagger2.jpg

I much prefer the Dinotopia machines!

adam said...

As a forester, I see these machines as an excellent prospect for minimal impact harvesting of what is our planets' ultimate renewable resource.
Contrary to populist opinion, forestry is not and need not be about the rape and pillage of forests.