rugged pda data collection tree nursery
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Rugged computers provide accurate data collection for tree nurseries

Tree nursery data collection

The value of a nursery tree is set based on its trunk circumference. And since they only get bigger throughout the season, growers prefer to measure them as late as possible, to maximize their profits.

But since the shape of nursery trees rarely are perfectly circular, measuring them has always been a time consuming process. The tree’s trunk circumference has always been measured by hand using a measuring tape with a co-worker recording the data.

big tree nursery plantation
Tree nursery areas often covers quite a lot of ground…

To store the data into the office database, it has also been needed to be re-entered when getting back to the office. And even if you can take some representative measurements, there’s still quite a bit of job to do when you’ve got up to 13,000 nursery trees planted per hectare.

Digitalizing the process

As early as in 2010, people started efforts to find a solution to the problem but they failed, at first. It wasn’t until later in 2014, that a solution was found when LINX mobile solutions started to develop a complete package including software, electronic hardware, and measurement instruments.

Out of this new tree nursery technology, TreeHug BV was born –  a partnership between LINX mobile solutions and measurement instrument suppliers Wageningen Instruments and ENRIN Environmental Research Instruments.

data collection tree nursery

A complete solution

Nowadays, TreeHug offers a full suite of products for tree nurseries and growers in the Netherlands and beyond. The solution includes a high-precision circumference measuring device, a voice input system, barcode and RFID tools for location scanning, GPS and GNSS tools for location tracking and a specialized interface that connects your mobile device to the back office system.

To be able to perform the operations on reliable mobile devices, TreeHug has turned to Handheld’s Algiz 8X rugged Windows tablet and Handheld’s Nautiz X9 rugged Android PDA. The devices are compact, yet ideal for the purpose thanks to their robustness, serial port availability and long battery life.

Both devices features capacitive touchscreens than can be viewed in direct sunlight and operated in heavy rain. Their IP-ratings and passed MIL-STD-810G tests also ensures them to handle dust, water, repeated drops and strong vibrations in extreme temperatures.

Learn more about the solution, or find similar articles In the Field.