Bobcat launches first OEM-developed remote control system

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Bobcat has announced its new Remote Control Solution will be commercially available by the end of 2019. The system, that is unique in that it has been developed entirely in house by the OEM, will enable Bobcat’s compact loaders to be operated completely remotely.

The Remote Control Solution is compatible with Bobcat skid-steer, compact track and all wheel steer loader models equipped with the company’s Selectable Joystick Controls. Bobcat is the first manufacturer to introduce a Remote Control System as original plug-and-play equipment, rather than offering it as an add-on development from a third party.

Remote control solutions have proved their qualities and abilities to save lives in the toughest environments all around the world by providing service during disasters like floods, forest fires, mud or rock slides and in other places where operators can be subjected to dangerous situations.

“We first presented our remote control prototype at Bobcat Demo Days with excellent feedback from our customers, then subjected it to further improvements, testing and licensing, before finally introducing it as an easy plug-and-play solution for existing machines for commercial launch,” says Jiri Karmazin, loaders product manager Doosan Bobcat EMEA. The technology was also demonstrated on Bobcat’s stand at Bauma Munich in April.

“The remote control system can be used in many applications with the focus on limitless visibility, the ability to communicate with the surroundings without the need to be present in the cab, comfort enhancement for applications with noise, vibration and harshness or even in dangerous areas. This was the voice of our customers and the issues we observed on most jobsites,” Jiri Karmazin continues.

Increased safety and productivity
Remote control aims to increase safety, comfort and productivity by distancing the operator from dust, noise, vibrations and other hazards encountered at the workface or on job sites that require special safety precautions. Work can be done faster with higher precision and, in some applications, with fewer personnel on the job site. For increased safety, the system also features an emergency stop button and drop and tilt detection.

Every remote-control kit is protected by a dedicated password, with two-way communication providing all the important information about the loader (such as fuel and oil status, warnings, etc.) on a 3.5-inch transflective colour backlit LCD display. The system provides most of the functions that can be performed via direct loader operation, including throttle, light, creep and float controls. There is also speed management control to ensure easier operation in certain applications (such as trenching, tilling, scarifying and so on). The system in very intuitive to use and the training for end users will be provided by Bobcat dealers.

The remote control system is supplied with two exchangeable batteries offering a long 20-hour battery life. The protective case ensures it is easier to transport from one job site to another. This forms part of an updated state-of-the-art ergonomic design with the system housed in a rugged and weatherproof enclosure.

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James joined the Industrial Vehicle Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter who keeps him busy.

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