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The world is facing an enormous challenge: feed 9 Billion people in 2050. This requires maintaining or even increasing the world production of food. Furthermore, 15 million hectares of forest are destroyed every year. After the identification of these two different problems, I researched systems to be able to address them, one of them being agroforestry.

Agroforestry is the combination of crops and trees in the same cultivated field. This combination gives out several benefits like fostering the habitat’s biodiversity and decreasing erosion as much as 80 percent.

When this combination works well, it can output the same yield as that of traditional farming. Unfortunately, agroforestry is not very developed. It requires a great deal of maintenance by farmers because of the lack of suitable tools.
The return on investment is not before 40 years when the trees are a mature age. However, tree trimming, every 4 years, can be valuated by harvesting cut branches, then milling them to make wood by-products. It can be sold to the industry to have these byproducts converted into MDF pannels or raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry. Unfortunately, this harvest takes a lot of time and labour. That is why I have decided to create the first tool able to trim and harvest branches in order to make it viable in large farms.

I decided to solve this problem because agroforestry enables the creation of an ecosystem onto agricultural production sites. It is a solution of coexistence between human beings and the environment.

I followed the behaviour of prying-mantis when she hunts with its legs. It was very important because for me, tomorrow’s agricultural tools need to be closer to natural behaviours.
The major issue with farming machines is that they are huge and bulky, which can become problematic when transiting through a city. That is why my tool is the assembly of two vehicles that can split for enhanced roadability.
The Mantis is a vehicle able to cut precisely, harvest branches without dropping them on the ground. The current tools are not able to cut as well as a professional tree pruner. Fallen branches have then to be collected with a mill. My tool is the first piece of equipment able to perform both actions at once. In a second step, it performs a swift hand-over to the industry by autonomously loading & unloading the trailer that stores processed wooden residues.
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Autonomous clipping machine tool for agroforestry.

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Blas Antoine
Mobility and product designer Paris, France