Innovation in Forestry Robotics: Research and Industry Adoption

This workshop will present a good environment to discuss the latest advances, research challenges and the industry adoption of robotics in forestry and related fields. Having diverse point of views from researchers, stakeholders and policymakers will encourage a rich discussion between attendees and the public, in general.


The use of technology and automation is an increasingly demanded requirement for many of the primary economic activities such as agriculture, mining or forestry. Factors such as population growth, climate change or the shifting of business models due to the recent world changes have set additional pressure to these industries for improving productivity while maintaining sustainability. Forestry is an industry that presents an ample potential for automation and the use of robotic systems to perform specific tasks. Despite of the large body of development and research of robotics in terms of perception, navigation and control is vast, their practical application in this industry is still limited. We consider this situation has various reasons (some transversal to agriculture or mining) that involve technical shortcomings but also societal factors. This workshop will present an overview of the application of robotics in forestry and will create a twofold discussion environment: i) about the vanguard technical solutions from the robotics community for the current limitations for design, perception, navigation control; and ii) about the short- and medium-term needs of forest workers, stakeholders, managers or policy makers and how they envision the use of robotic technology in the industry.

Discussion Panels

We have chosen to use discussion panels instead of keynote speakers to encourage a conversation between experts, junior and senior researchers about the latest research trends, their practical application and the industry adoption.

The plan is to have two panels: a panel with robotic and forestry researchers to discuss the current challenges and new advancements with a technical point of view; and a panel with industry experts, startup managers and stakeholders to discuss how new robotic developments can be adopted by the industry.


Forestry involves a variety of tasks that pose a number of challenges for robotic research in several aspects. Inventory, planting, harvesting, monitoring or wildfire prevention are examples of activities requiring state of the art solutions in terms of hardware, control, locomotion, localization, path planning, perception and decision-making. Despite many advances in these areas individually, the development and deployment of field robots for precision forestry that embrace the new findings is still at a very early stage. Examples include, but are not limited to off-road autonomous navigation, complaint hardware design, flying in extreme microclimates, or perceiving the environment at different levels (including the uncertainty).

The Innovation in Forestry Robotics: Research and Industry Adoption Workshop aims to address recent advances in technical topics listed in the Call for Papers. We also want to exploit the parallelism with other industries, like agriculture, mining, construction, space and others, to encourage junior and senior researchers in those areas to extrapolate their findings to forestry applications. As the line of the workshop is industry-oriented, we also want to include policymakers, managers and stakeholders to provide different points of view to enrich the workshop. Thus, we aim to create an environment to discuss not only the technical aspects of automation in forestry and other related industries, but also the societal impacts and how the technologies that researchers are developing are perceived by the stakeholders and how the new findings can be funded or adopted commercially.


The registration process follows the main conference guidelines.

It should be noted that for attending the Workshop and the Main Conference you need to be registered in both. Additionally, a single registration can be used to present up to two papers, two posters or one paper and one poster.

A detailed description of the registration fees is provided in the following link.

Forests Special Issue

This Special Issue will showcase this exciting and important area of application, reflecting the current state of the art by addressing the challenges faced and presenting recent achievements in research on forestry robotics. Authors are invited to submit their quality contributions to the journal here.

Organizing Committee

  • Francisco Yandun, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA.
  • George Kantor, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA.
  • Micael Courceiro, Ingeniarius, Portugal.
  • Carlos Viegas, The Field Tech Laboratory of CEIF/ADAI, Portugal.
  • João Filipe Ferreira, Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, UK, and Senior Researcher at the Institute of Systems and Robotics, University of Coimbra.
  • Luís Conde Bento, Institute of Systems and Robotics, University of Coimbra..