Summary: We wrote this in 2011. While meant to be a different way of looking at how equipment will improve in your tree care, on reviewing this data in 2019, in some ways these things are happening but the widespread adoption is lagging. Tree services have been defined by important developments, such as the bucket truck. In looking at the technology we predicted, there are applications being done in the commercial and utility trimming such as with drone technology that point to some accuracy of this article. There are still trimmers in the trees and this will still be a ways off from robotic arms as such – Jan 2, 2019
In 10 years, the tree trimmer will do his work without touching the canopy.
In 20 years, the arborists’ bucket truck will be a set of robotic arms that prunes, loads and chips by itself.
These predictions are based on the exponential growth of computing power calculated by Raymond Kurzweil, the world’s bravest, and some say, most accurate, futurist.
His predictions have influenced Bill Gates, Bill Joy (Founder of Sun Microsystems) and three US presidents.
His inventions helped Stevie Wonder be able to read on his own.
A little background.
When Kurzweil first started computer programming in the 1960s, he was in awe of an IBM 360 Model 91 machine which filled up a gigantic chamber house in New England. The machine had 1000 kB of core memory, or 1 MB.
As a comparison, a typical e-mail address today box holds around 300 MB of data.
He developed a program, while still an undergraduate, that matched high school students to an ideal college.
At that time, renting the state-of-the-art IBM machine was $1000/hour. However, that primitive machine could process the data he needed in 10 seconds, a job that would’ve take humans 10 hours to do.
“When I was an undergraduate we all shared a computer at MIT that took up half of a building. The computer and your cellphone today is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful. That’s a billion fold increase in price performance of computing since I was an undergraduate,“ said Kurzweil.
In other words the amount of computer processing you can buy for a dollar today would’ve cost $1 billion in 1968.