iVT EXPO EXCLUSIVE: Fritzmeier reveals ambitions to create unified HMI for all construction vehicles

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At IVT Expo’s Industrial Vehicle Cab Design & Technology Conference in Cologne today, cab designers from Fritzmeier Cabs, and its collaborators, were able to reveal more about ambitions for the new HMI Cluster project.

The new Cluster –  an offshoot of the successful CAB Concept Cluster, which was responsible for the Genius and Smart cabs for construction and agriculture – is working on a unified control system for all construction vehicles, Fritzmeier’s director of marketing and communications, Alexandra Hermann revealed.

Speaking to a packed room at the well-attended conference Hermann said, “Last year we at Fritzmeier had discussions with a construction company called Leonard Weiss and their main two challenges were end-to-end communication and HMI. They have very complex machines. Inspired by this, the HMI Cluster, with the support of the University of Dresden, is now aiming to come up with an HMI that is not only applicable for one type of machine. We would like to use it for all types of construction machine.”

Hermann also expressed ambitions for the new HMI to include augmented reality systems, which would allow operators to visualise previously ‘unseen’ aspects of their surrounding working environment, by wearing virtual reality glasses. A film has been released which illustrates how such technology might work.

Speaking in the same conference Prof. Jens Krzywinksi (below), head of industrial design engineering at the University of Dresden, said that work was also underway to create “A completely new digital workspace to steer control and monitor swarms.”

Krzywinksi also said remote controls might soon incorporate gesture-based systems, which would involve the operator holding devices akin to existing joysticks but with wireless connections. Using these free devices an operator would then be able to accurately control a vehicle in a remote location.

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as ivtinternational.com, which is updated daily. Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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