Projects & Products

Red Fern works and assists with new start-ups through to NZ's biggest companies. We have projects and products with both private and public entities, as well as research groups and organisations. We can share some details of a selection of our publicly funded or disclosable projects below.

Digital Crop Estimation (Zespri Ltd)

Red Fern has developed and produced the high-speed imaging and data capture units for the Zespri Ltd Digital Crop Estimation systems. They cover the entire width of the orchard rows, and are now in their third season of operation across the industry to assist with fruit density and size profiling for supply chain estimates.

EzyLure® (support from PF2050 Ltd and DOC)

Red Fern has designed and developed the EzyLure® dispenser system with Boffa Miskell, with funding from PGF via PF2050 Ltd, DOC, and MBIE. This product is being commercialised in 2022 through Critter Solutions, with units produced via Red Fern Manufacturing.

Flexi-Comms (support from PF2050 Ltd)

Red Fern and Boffa Miskell have designed and developed the low-cost Flexi-comms ground-based communication system, specifically for remote monitoring and communications of traps and pest management devices in New Zealand, with funding from PGF via PFNZ2050 Ltd, DOC, and MBIE. This product is being commercialised in 2022 through Critter Solutions, with units produced via Red Fern Manufacturing.


Red Fern and Boffa Miskell have designed, developed and produced CritterPic®, a tool for real-time monitoring of small cryptic species and pest species. Please see Critter Solutions for more information.

Apollo V4 Ultimate Expansion board

Red Fern have developed an expansion board for the Amiga-compatible V4 FPGA-based system from Apollo Computer. This is currently in production and being sold world-wide.

Map and Zap (AgResearch Ltd)

We are involved in several leading-edge research projects, including the Map and Zap programme led by Dr Kioumars Ghamkhar at AgResearch Limited, and funded by the NZ Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). In this project we have assisted in developing a novel, automated system for detecting and destroying pest weeds affecting New Zealand's environment and agriculture.

Please refer to the Map and Zap news release for more details.

Application areas

We have been involved in a broad range of applications and industries, including:


Animal monitoring & behaviour


Food processing & quality



Manufacturing process lines

Marine applications

Medical & health




Example Publications & Media

Alongside commercially sensitive projects, Michael Hagedorn and Kenji Irie have independently been involved in a large amount of collaborative, published, material in the past 20 years (pre- Red Fern Solutions). Please note that the other authors listed are affiliated with other companies and institutions.

PAWS Animal Monitoring:

"High-tech sensors new weapon in war on pests", NZ Herald, 2018: Link to article

"Digital pest control In New Zealand", BBC Click, 2015. Helen Blackie and Kenji Irie.

Listen at:

[Photo courtesy of Helen Blackie]

Adapting the 'PAWS' animal monitoring tool for surveillance of insects and other small animals", Kenji irie, Helen Blackie, Paul Riding, Ian Woodhead, Charlie Eason. Presented at the Ecological Society of New Zealand conference, 2014.

"An animal trap monitoring system (PAWS) for Dogs, Dingoes, and Foxes", Kenji Irie, Helen Blackie, Paul Riding, Ian Woodhead, Charlie Eason, and Jess Roberts. Presented at Spatially Enabled Livestock Management Symposium, New Zealand, 2014.

"New Automated pest detection and monitoring devices", Helen Blackie, Brent Barrett, Ian Woodhead, Kenji irie, Paul Riding, and Shane Inder. Presented at the 16th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference, Brisbane, 2014.

Microwave Sensing:

"Microwave detection of foreign objects inside bread loaves", Kenji Irie, Ian Woodhead, Adrian Tan, Jeffrey Hsiao, Amanda Zhang, The International Journal of Food Science and Technology, Lincoln, New Zealand, 2015.

"Characterising noise on a TDR image sensor", Michael Hagedorn, Ian Platt, and Ian Woodhead. Presented at the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Workshop, Palmerston North, New Zealand, 2013.

"Timber tomography using time domain reflectometry", Ian Platt, Andrew Hayward, Ian Woodhead and Michael Hagedorn", presented at the International Conference on Sensing Technology conference, New Zealand, 2012.

Camera Characterisation:

"A technique for evaluation of CCD video-camera noise", Kenji Irie, Alan McKinnon, Keith Unsworth, and Ian Woodhead. Published in IEEE Transactions on circuits and systems for video technology, Vol. 18, No. 2, February 2008.

"A noise-bound method for detecting shadow-free scene changes in image sequences", Kenji Irie, Alan McKinnon, Keith Unsworth, and Ian Woodhead. Published in the Journal of the Optical Society of America A., pp167-73, 27(2), 2010.


"Automated hull-scanning for detection of exotic species", Kenji Irie, Michael Hagedorn, Adrian Tan. Environlink report for Northland Regional Council, 2016.

"A laser-based eye-tracking system", Kenji Irie, Bruce Wilson, Richard Jones, Tim Anderson. Published in Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 34(4), pp561-72, December 2002.


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Projects updated November 2021