Jamie Hyneman tries to trim the tops of trees with a quadcopter


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Trigger warning: Quarry.

Not surprised the thrust provided by a low mass heli would be insufficient to push through a branch.

Would be interesting to try whether the thrust could support pulling for a cable saw. Though that would be for more substantial limbs, and not the arboreal work Hyneman was aiming for.

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Needs some kind of scissor mechanism so the blade is pushing against itself and not against the rotors (and therefore air), maybe?

I found the video kind of hard to follow. Jamie should try summarizing the project every 5 minutes for those of us “just tuning in.” :wink:


You just need a bigger, more absurdly dangerous looking, saw: http://www.rotor-blade.com/


if he insists on using a saw blade he needs to first grip the trunk/branch (on the non-waste side) and then draw the blade in.
Better would be no saw blade but rather a bypass or anvil cutter (anvil cutter would be more stable). Using leverage on an anvil cutter should be the win.

Not sure why this hasn’t been in a zombie movie.


What could possibly go wrong with sharp blades hovering over your head? Now a running chainsaw suspended below the drone may work. It is also funny I never realized the problem of not being able to trim the top of my trees.

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There really needs to be a tree climbing robot. Maybe a quad copter could place it, but there’s no substitute for leverage on the tree itself. If perfected, it would make urban forestry a lot easier.

Don’t you think there should be two people in that helicopter? One to work the saw and one to fly the helicopter?. I could not believe how focused he was on the saw, and not watching where he way going, or his instruments.

No need.

Although I guess in the end that didn’t work out too well for the helicopter.

Lasers, man. Lasers.

I honestly have no idea what their safety record is like, or if a second person would improve it.

I (thankfully) have never actually been in the market for exotic tree management solutions; I just knew that aerial trimming was a thing(mostly because of demand from electrical grid operators looking to protect lines running through wooded areas that were either dangerous or uneconomic to trim from the ground); and that was the first vendor who turned up, and had some good footage.

I don’t recall reading about any lurid helicopter/saw accidents; but odds are that, if any occur, they tend to happen out in the sticks and be classified as obscure occupational accidents; so I wouldn’t really expect to know about them.

Most power tools I’ve used rely on the weight of the tool to do much of the work.

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A most annoying soundtrack. I noticed the saw had some sort of ballast, though. Perhaps this is what makes it more effective than Jamie’s.

Poorly dubbed into English?

Framing, Mr Cinematographer. Framing.

The Shaw Brothers dubbed pretty well.

So cool that Jamie will show his testing along the way. It would be easy to edit out these trials and just show success.

My favorite quote from John C. Maxwell:
A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.

Jamie shows all three of these attributes.