Drawing from more than 30 years of equipment autonomy experience, Caterpillar announces the expansion of Cat Command to a broader range of construction machines. Cat Command is now launching a line of remote control and semi-autonomous technologies, ranging from operator-assisted compaction to remote control loading, dozing and excavating operations.
Scalable technologies built to flexibly meet customer needs, Cat Command helps to enhance safety and increase productivity for a variety of applications. Remote control provides full machine maneuverability from a safe distance when working in potentially hazardous environments. By removing the user from the cab, it also eliminates machine vibration feedback felt by the operator, reducing fatigue. Helping to address current and future labor shortages, the technology expands machine operation to a larger pool of potential operators, through its “virtual cab,” which offers easy access to accommodate those with physical limitations.
A single user can quickly and easily control multiple machines, one at a time, or change jobsite location without traveling from the office to the machine, significantly improving operating efficiency and reducing travel time and costs. Remote control affords continuous production immediately following a disruptive process, like blasting, to increase machine productivity. Cat Command helps reduce work disruptions due to weather conditions or non-production related issues to improve machine uptime.
Console or Operator Station
Precise remote control Cat Command Console and Station controls are fully integrated with the machines’ electronic and hydraulic systems for quick response and smooth control. Operating commands are sent directly to the machine’s electronics through a dedicated radio transmitter/receiver, resulting in real-time control. Since the system is a dealer-installed kit fully designed and integrated into the machine, not an aftermarket add-on, it can be quickly switched between similar machines to give the customer increased machine flexibility.
The line-of-sight Cat Command Console comes complete with a lightweight, compact control console supported by a comfortable shoulder harness. Controlling all machine functions, the Command Console allows the user to work safely and comfortably away from the machine, while remaining onsite and in direct visual contact with the equipment. This solution requires no onsite communications infrastructure and is ideal for short-term and emergency use when encountering a potentially hazardous work area.
The Command Station offers the flexibility of being located onsite for line-of-sight operation or positioned miles away for non-line-of-sight applications. The station includes a modular, customized “virtual cab,” where the user is comfortably seated in front of machine controls and displays similar to those inside the operator’s cab. Offering an improved working environment, the Command Station allows users to work for longer periods of time without fatigue, and one user can remotely operate multiple machines, one at a time, from a single station.
The semi-autonomous Cat Command for Compaction technology automates soil compaction to help contractors meet high compaction quality standards. By automating the process, it allows operators of all experience levels to deliver consistent compaction results. Command for Compaction is available as a dealer-installed kit on new and B-Series Cat soil compactors.
With no back-office design required, the operator simply uses the intuitive in-cab display with touchscreen interface to quickly map the boundaries of the area to be compacted. The operator then enters compaction parameters and sets the machine to auto. The system automatically controls compactor propulsion, steering, vibration and compaction overlap. To supplement an operator’s safety awareness, an integrated object detection system alerts the operator of an obstruction in the roller’s path.
Technology on Display
CONEXPO-CON/AGG demonstrations Caterpillar’s “Technology Hub” at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 will house two Cat Command Stations configured for remote, non-line-of-sight machine control from inside Festival Grounds exhibit #F4455. Throughout the duration of the show, attendees are welcome to sit in the “virtual cab” and control equipment – a Cat D6 XE dozer, 930M wheel loader and 320 Next Gen excavator – located from just under 500 to more than 2,300 miles (800-3,700 km) away.
Cat general line and technology demonstrations will be held Wednesday–Saturday during show hours inside the exhibit’s Operator’s Stadium. The General line sessions begin at 10 a.m. and technology demos at 12 p.m. Three special Cat Command demonstrations will immediately follow these sessions on the following dates:
- Wednesday, March 11, at 12:30 p.m. – non-line-of-sight Command Station demo of the D6 XE dozer, located inside the exhibit’s Operator’s Stadium.
- Thursday, March 12, at 12:30 p.m. – non-line-of-sight Command Station demo of the 930 M wheel loader inside Operator’s Stadium.
- Friday, March 13, at 10:30 a.m. – semi-autonomous demo of the Cat CS56B single drum roller inside Operator’s Stadium.