With the amount of highly trained construction workers retiring, new innovative ways of conducting construction work have been formulated, and robotic controls are no exception. Hence the introduction of the Smart Excavator created by SRI International to incorporate robotic AI into the automated system. Using internal devices such as 3D cameras and wireless communication software, the Smart Excavator can perform its duty on its own.
Remember using the Playstation or Xbox controller to move your character around in the video game? The Smart Excavator operates in a similar fashion: using motion controls, the excavator can operate through a joystick and other buttons on a controller meaning it can be operated from a distance. The specific instructions on the digging sites are pre-programmed into the device and also include a device that warns oncoming pedestrians if they are too close to the digging site. It can even check for blind spots.
A VR headset is also included which permits the human to see the exact location of the excavator and control its movements accordingly. Motion tracking controllers are also included so that the machine (and worker) knows exactly how much dirt needs to be moved from the site. These actions are controlled through buttons while the movement of the excavator itself is conducted through a joystick.
For those who prefer a more traditional approach, the Smart Crane’s automated controls are completely optional. A worker can still jump into the machine and work “normally” as the controls are also present on the inside of the machine.
The device was developed by SRI International which was previously responsible for the development of Siri in our iPhones as well as Yamaha’s Robotic Biker-both inventions of which revolutionized society’s view of technology. “Our designs have increased fuel efficiency while lowering maintenance costs up to 20%”, boasts the website. “We are looking to keep it up”. Playing video games has never felt this rewarding!