Gerridae – Ground Sensitive Harvester

Gerridae is a harvester designed for minimizing the soil damage in the forest.
Within it’s extendable counter-weight, the vehicle’s total weight is reduced by
half. Gerridae’s flexibility provides any benefits as easy transportation, better
cabin access, better articulation, and better visibility.

UMU logotype Wsmall  Umeå Institute of Design

Human Centered Design
Autumn 2013 – 10 Weeks









Gerridae – Ground Sensitive Harvester

User Studies


“It needs to take care of the nature, and needs to be good to the operator.”     Stefan Åström: Harvester Operator, Forestry Entrepreneur

Talking to the Users

Getting the most honest insights from the end user in their work environment.

User Experience Workshop

Finding the best design opportunities and user experience through a “User Experience Workshop”.

Being the User

In order to get a deep understanding of the user experience, we role-played a whole day of the user with extreme details.


Environmental Damage


Current harvesters create big cavities, harm the healthy tree roots and the other plants, which affects the ecosystem.

Cabin Access Injuries

The operator needs the deal with a height of 1.2 meters and has a possibility to fall of and get injured.

Inflexibility in the Forest

Inflexibility causes minor accidents and dead areas in the forest which decreases the production rate for the final cut.

Lack of Visibility

Due to the lack of visibility, the most of the operators have neck and back pain.


Light & Sensitive

Gerridae5Instead of a static counter-weight, Gerridae has a dynamic, and extendable one which provides more than
60% lighter counter-weight which affects the total weight by 40% and better balance to the vehicle.
Non-Pneumatic (airless) tires on wheels and on front tracks to have more sensitivity to the ground and make the vehicle lighter.

High Visibility


Higher cabin positioning during work provides better visibility to the operator to reduce spinal diseases occurs on operators.

Easily Accessible Cabin

Easily accessible elevating cabin to eliminate injuries which operator can get during entering or exiting the cabin.

Easy Transportation Gerridae8

Due to the compact design of the vehicle, the transportation becomes a lot easier.


The Prototype

138 Parts and 8 days immersed in making Gerridae’s 1/20 model.

Client Presentation

Gerridae10 Gerridae11

"This student demonstrated a really deep level of thinking and very comprehensive solution to a specific problem."

Core77 Design Awards