Zoomlion’s 6th Science and Technology Conference held in Changsha, China raised the bar on the advances of A.I and Robotic tech for excavators when the company unveiled their Collaborative Intelligent Robotic Excavator. The machine features a ‘human to machine’ interaction system via an A.I platform coupled with an intelligent control system which enables the excavator to seamlessly interact with operators in the cab and execute tasks using voice commands and gestures accurately.
The system has been seen as a ‘game changer’ especially within the scope of complex tasks such as slope shaping and cutting which have been made easy as all the operator has to do is input a 3D model of intended target site along with the required task into the system and the machine will perform the task on its own. The excavator will also drive to the site on its own using its internal GPS navigation system without any assistance from the operator.
The voice command system is akin to Google Assistant if not better and is able to recognize and execute a large number of voice commands which include, turn left, turn right, forward, reverse, rotate and even complicated commands such as ‘slope cutting. The entire system is linked to an independently developed phone app by Zoomlion.
According to Liu Yan Bin who is Zoomlion’s deputy directors of the heavy machine R & D centre, the concept of “Intellectualization has been established as an inescapable trend” and this is especially true within the scope of construction machinery development. Whatever, new technologies that are appearing in other industries are being injected into the heavy machine industry and this includes integrated sensing technology, big data, GPS, Internet of Things (IoT), and remote control and monitoring. All of which are aimed at promoting and enhancing the level of connectivity between machines and people which has been progressing rapidly since 2014.
The launch of this particular collaborative intelligent robotic excavator is the result of the latest outcome and technological developments that have been integrated into the realm of human-machine collaboration.
“It is a breakthrough of great magnitude for Zoomlion, our application takes human-machine interaction into a new spectrum” quoted Liu Yanbin. Zoomlion has been at the forefront of technological developments and technical innovation within the realm of the heavy machine industry and the company’s continuous effort to make machines smarter, safer and better in every way via accelerated research and development has finally paid off with this latest launch.
The development of the bionic control system which allows excavator operators to guide excavators with arm movement is the result of years of work indicated a senior Zoomlion spokesperson. According to him, one of the greatest challenges that the R & D faculty faced was integrating the bionic feature with the A.I system and automated components of the excavator and ensuring that everything works seamlessly and accurately.
The Collaborative Intelligent Excavator is indeed a game changer which has probably triggered a chain of events that will see excavator hire service companies and manufacturers rethinking and revising market strategies.