The safety benefits of remote operation have won over more than just construction equipment owners and operators, as proven by this year’s Edison Awards program. Caterpillar announced it has received gold in the Smart Productivity Tools – Living & Working Environment category for its Cat Command for Construction system.
Named after Thomas Alva Edison, the Edison Awards have recognized some of the most innovative products, services and business leaders globally since 1987.
“We were very impressed by the level of collaboration and discovery in this year’s entries,” said Frank Bonafilia, Edison Universe Executive Director. “Somehow, while facing the unprecedented challenges of this global pandemic, companies around the world figured out how to work safely and smartly and still innovate at an award-winning level.”
Fred Rio, Caterpillar Construction Digital & Technology Worldwide Product Manager, sees the award-winning innovation as a company-wide achievement. “We’re honored the Edison Awards panel of judges, comprising of more than 3,000 senior business executives and academics, chose Cat Command as a gold recipient,” he stated. “I’m extremely proud of how talent from the entire enterprise coalesced around the vision for Cat Command, and I commend them for their dedication to innovation and hard work on a solution that adds significant customer value.”
Cat Command - developed based on more than 30 years of equipment autonomy experience - is designed to remove the operator from the machine, enabling safe operation in hazardous areas. By removing the user from the cab, it also eliminates machine vibration feedback, reducing operator fatigue.
The product portfolio includes offerings for compaction, dozing, excavating and loading operations, each of which is available with a hand-held remote station or Command station.
The remote station keeps the operator outside of the machine cab while maintaining deep integration with the machine’s features. Companies can easily and efficiently switch between remote and manual operation of the equipment.
The universal Command station includes a “virtual cab” with the ability for a single operator to switch machines and jobsites at the touch of a button and maneuver up to five different machines, one at a time, improving operating efficiency and reducing travel time and cost. Remote-control operation can be conducted from the comfort of an air-conditioned office thousands of miles away from the project site, increasing productivity and reducing the risk of operating injuries and fatigue-related accidents.
The technology also helps to address current and future labor shortages by expanding the pool of potential operators. “Cat Command provides a solution to workforce shortages by opening opportunities to those with physical limitations, preventing them from climbing into the equipment, attracting a new generation of workers and increasing the longevity of veteran operators,” Rio noted.
Information provided by Caterpillar and edited and enhanced by Becky Schultz.