Redefining the interaction between human and forestry machine
Ponsse is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cut-to-length forest machines. The roots of the family-owned company lie deep in the Finnish countryside. The company is still based in Vieremä, in the same location in which it was founded in 1970.
From its very first forest tractor made from recycled parts, to cutting edge harvesters and simulators today, Ponsse has always been at the forefront of the industry. By putting the user at the center, Ponsse has been able to create the best equipment so that operators can concentrate on their job. Just as AI is redefining many industries, forestry and logging is no exception, Ponsse has reacted accordingly but intends to kick things up a notch.
Operating a forestry machine is very demanding, users need to do thousands of big and small decisions every day, the cognitive load is so high that one night’s sleep might not be enough for the operator to regain the productivity of the previous day but most importantly, over time it may have a negative effect on their well-being. At the same time the machines are getting more aware of their surroundings and more autonomous. In long run the forestry machines will become completely autonomous in easier environments, but operators will still be needed in more demanding ones, though their role will become more of help and supervision towards the machine. How can we evolve the human-machine interaction so that operators become machine guiders and supervisors? Most importantly, how do weguarantee the task is still meaningful and interesting enough for the human but not overly demanding? How can we harmoniously evolve the roles of humans and machine so that more people would see it as highly rewarding work, where the human is seen as respected advisor rather than a mere operator?
Students have the chance to potentially redefine the future of forestry machinery. You are not expected to deliver a technical solution, rather you will take a holistic approach and provide an overall solution, which may contain technical aspects.
Expectations from students
You are expected to participate in common sessions twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays (14.15-16.00 GMT+2). In addition, teamwork takes place according to the team’s own schedule, overall you are expected to dedicate 10-15 hours per week for a period of 8 weeks (25.10-16.12)
Deadline for application: October 3rd
Admission process: Depending on number of applications.
ECTS or Certification information: 5 ECTS