A Sensor-Guided Bobcat

The UK-based company Infomap is carrying out trials on a GPS-guided excavating system on a Bobcat E14 mini-excavator.

The Prolec Digmaster Pro 3D machine guidance system and the Javad GNSS (or GPS) guidance hardware GPS uses GNSS-based technology to guide construction plant on site and can be used to lead excavators through the digging process. Sensors mounted on the E14 excavator accurately read the location, orientation and position of the equipment.

This key information is then relayed to the machine guidance module and displayed in real time 3D to the plant operator through a cab-mounted screen. By following the on-screen information, the plant operator is able to dig exactly to plan, ensuring the job is done swiftly, efficiently and with precision.

Several other applications of this system include mass excavation, landscaping and general earthworks; drilling and piling operations; road construction; grading; trenching and ditching; breakwater construction; waterway maintenance and dredging and quarrying.

Once the machine is calibrated, every bucket needed can be measured and these values stored with an appropriate name in the bucket library. The system then detects which bucket is being used after being swapped.

“It results in faster, more efficient use of plant, shorter working cycles, reduced rehandling of material, no unnecessary over-digging, decreased fuel costs and reduces the impact on the environment,” claimed Infomap. “The system also cuts surveying and setting out costs and requires less staff to be present within the vicinity of working plant, which also improves workplace safety.”

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