PRE2017 4 Groep6

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Group members

  • David van den Beld, 1001770
  • Gerben Erens, 0997906
  • Luc Kleinman, 1008097
  • Maikel Morren, 1002099
  • Adine van Wier, 0999813

Project pages

For all the branches of the project diverging from the initial set-up and planning, please see their respective pages;

This page itself is dedicated to general information about the project, i.e. problem statement, goal, planning, etc..


Project Statement

Wildfires are occurring throughout the world at an increasing rate. Great droughts in various regions across the globe are increasing the probability of wildfires to occur. National parks deal with major wildfires multiple times a year. Areas devastated by wildfires are mostly devoid of life, while potentially still having an extremely fertile soil containing all the biomass left after the fire. Artificial reforestation can accelerate the natural process which accounts for the regrowth of the forests. This process might be enhanced by means of technology, for example by deploying robots that plant seeds of saplings in these areas.

This project investigates the possibility and potential of utilizing robots to restore these devastated areas to their former glory. In order to investigate this possibility, a thorough analysis of different methods of reforestation is made first. By comparing methods of reforestation a great deal can be learned about which negative aspects of the current reforestation methods should be enhanced by a new reforestation robot. Also, this analysis will explore if a new method of reforestation is needed at all. Beyond this, two case studies are investigated. These case studies show how reforestation and forest fires are currently being handled. The case help studies help to get a better understanding of what the robot should be able to do and what it ought not to be able to do and thus help to define design criteria.

Finally, multiple preliminary designs are made for the seeding mechanism of the robot which would accomplish all necessities found during the analysis of the different reforestation methods and which follows all the criteria discovered in the case studies. Out of these designs, the one ranking highest on the criteria unraveled during the literature review and case studies is chosen to be the best suitable seeding mechanism for the future robot. Additionally, a design is made for a user interface that will allow the staff of a national park to control a swarm of robots in a user-friendly and non time consuming way. Lastly, some suggestions for future research are given, in the topics of what other crucial functionalities the robot requires, how the robots would be able to communicate among themselves during operation, and how the robots would be able to communicate with the user in case of unforeseen circumstances. To conclude, this project aims to assess the necessity of a robot to rebuild a forest in a national park after a forest fire, discover the functionalities such a robot must have and design a user interface to control such robots based on the gained information.


Below follows the planning for the project for the upcoming 9 weeks constituting the course 0LAUK0 Project: Robots Everywhere.

Table 1: Final project planning after revision problem statement and goals
Week number Task Person assigned
Choose definitive subject Collaborative effort of all members
Define problem statement and objectives David
Define users Adine
Obtain user requirements Gerben
Work out typical use cases Luc
Define the milestones and deliverables Maikel
Define the approach of the problem Collaborative effort of all members
Search for relevant state-of-the-art (SotA) sources, categories:
  1. Modularity
  2. (Semi-) Autonomous cars
  3. Sensors for prospecting/evaluating ground
  4. Drilling/plowing/seeding mechanism
  5. Current Forestation combat methods
All divided into the subcategories:
  1. Maikel
  2. David
  3. Luc
  4. Gerben
  5. Adine
Make project planning Collaborative effort of all members
Review user requirements and use cases Collaborative effort of all members
Finish collecting SotA articles and write SotA section Each member for their respective subcategory
Research different application sectors for reforestation to narrow problem statement:
  1. Reforestation in logging industry
  2. Reforestation in national parks after forest fires
  3. Reforestation in nature reserves and rain forests
All divided into categories:
  1. Adine & Maikel
  2. David & Gerben
  3. Luc
Make preliminary robot designs for the following seeding mechanisms:
  1. Drilling robot
  2. Sprinkler robot
  3. Plow robot
Divided into:
  1. David
  2. Gerben
  3. Maikel
Review and narrowing of problem statement Collaborative effort of all members
Extended literature review on specific subject of reforestation:
  1. Biodiversity and need for control
  2. Natural reforestation versus artificial reforestation
  3. Direct seeding (manual seeding)
  4. Aerial seeding
All divided into the following categories:
  1. Collaborative effort of all group members during own research
  2. David & Adine
  3. Luc & Gerben
  4. Maikel
Rewrite problem statement Luc
Review users for narrowed problem Adine
Edit the general literature review on wiki Maikel
Research the costs of reforestation methods:
  1. Natural reforestation
  2. Aerial reforestation
  3. Manual reforestation
Divided by:
  1. Adine
  2. Maikel
  3. Luc
Rewrite segment of need for control and biodiversity into one introductory segement David
Start making 3D skechtes of preliminary designs Gerben
Document wiki on extended literature review page Adine
Start keeping a log of the research and design process Adine
Look for case studies Maikel & Luc
Write case studies Maikel & Luc
Remake planning to fit new goal of the project Maikel
Redefine objectives to fit new goal of project David
Rewrite drilling mechanism section Gerben
Finish a first 3D model Gerben
Continue 3D modelling Gerben
Elaborate and extend upon current preliminary designs (including sketch) Maikel, Gerben & David
Write wiki page for case studies Luc & Maikel
Evaluate designs using criteria from literature study Adine
Compile an overview of project progress by week Adine
Start building a user interface Luc & Gerben
Evaluate the project and analyse pitfalls Maikel & David
Start making the presentation David & Adine
Start an editorial run over the entire wiki Maikel
Continue making user interface Luc & Gerben
Finish writing last segments for the wiki Collaborative effort of all members
Finish final presentation Adine, David
Complete wiki Gerben, Luc
Finish editorial run over wiki Maikel
Buffer time Collaborative effort of all members


The problem will be approached by means of a design question. What would be the best design for an effective seeding mechanism which can be used in a mobile robot deployed in a reforestation operation, and how would this robot be controlled? The gross of the project is carried out sequentially as each subject builds further upon the conclusion reached during the last subject, which is represented in the structure of this Wiki consisting of several subpages corresponding to these subjects. Albeit that the project is carried out sequentially, within each sequence several tasks are divided such that they can be carried out in parallel by different group members. During the last phase of the project, when the major milestones have been finished, the project wrap up consists of several small independent task which will allow us to abandon the sequential structure which was necessary during the other phases and carry out these tasks in parallel to gain in time.

Milestones and Deliverables

Table 2: Milestones
Date Accomplished
30-04-2018 SotA research done
03-05-2018 Have problem narrowed down
17-05-2018 Finish collecting data about reforestation techniques
24-05-2018 Have case studies finished
31-05-2018 Have preliminary designs including 3D model and pick winner design
07-06-2018 Have analysis of communication requirements and control sequence
14-06-2018 Finish user interface
14-06-2018 Presentation is finished
21-06-2018 Wiki is completely updated