Technology

Cloud-based tech operates site-based plant

27 August 2019 | By Andrew Pring

Norwegian technology company Steer has launched a cloud-based technology for remote control of construction equipment.

The aim is to increase production capacity as well as minimise risk by removing the operator from dangerous operations and environments such as landfills, unstable terrain, pollution, extreme temperatures, explosives, land mines and radiation. 

Equipment is controlled remotely via a high resolution video with low latency, or they can be run semi-autonomously via pre-defined routes. Steer gives the driver the option to handle several items of equipment simultaneously, and the driver can swap vehicles or equipment by using the intuitive touch screen.

As there are no limitations on the distance between the driver and the equipment, it is possible to place three drivers in three different global time zones where the drivers control the same equipment across three different eight-hour shifts across a full 24-hour day.

The technology can be used on all types of vehicles, and with little investment or reconstruction of the vehicles. 

Steer head of development, Lars Tronsmoen, said: “We have retrofitted and remotely controlled vehicles such as excavators, bulldozers and tractors from Caterpillar, Volvo and John Deere and others. We remove the original physical monitors and systems in the machine and place these at the site of the remote driver. This means that the driver can do the same operations from the remote driver seat as in the physical machine.” 

Steer CEO Ole Gjermundshaug said: “Our the team spends a lot of time in the field with the drivers of these vehicles in order to receive quick and honest feedback enabling us to continuously test, develop and improve the solution.”