Rock Products

NOV 2017

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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32 • ROCK products • November 2017 Caterpillar Inc. provided additional details about its expanded autono- mous technology capabilities for the Komatsu 930E mining truck – devel- oped in part with Torc Robotics – at a recent event at its Tinaja Hills Demon- stration and Learning Center near Tucson, Ariz. Announced in January, the 930E retrofit program is part of Caterpil- lar's ongoing effort to meet mining customers' needs for autonomous haulage solutions. The product is scheduled to go to market in the first quarter of 2019. "We want to do all we can to help our customers get the most out of their existing equipment assets," said Sean McGinnis, product manager, Caterpil- lar Mining Technology. "Modernizing machines with new technology is a proven way to do that." "We know that most mining opera- tions are made up of equipment from multiple manufacturers," McGinnis continued. "By working with Torc to develop a solution that works on Komatsu trucks, we're making it pos- sible for our customers with mixed fleets to get the benefits of our proven autonomy solution. They can boost their equipment availability and over- all productivity in the field. And, most importantly, they'll reap the safety benefits that come from autonomy." The autonomous solution leverages Cat Command, a proven autonomy solution that is part of the compa- ny's MineStar suite of technology offerings. In addition to autonomous trucks, Command delivers remote control, semi-autonomous or fully autonomous solutions for drills, dozers and underground mining equipment. Caterpillar Details Expanded Autonomous Mining Truck Capabilities Developed With Torc Robotics The expanded capabilities for the 930E integrate the rest of the Cat MineStar suite – Fleet, Terrain, Health and Detect – for a complete system of technology offerings that help mines manage everything from material tracking to real-time fleet man- agement, machine health systems, safety and more. Torc Robotics, headquartered in Blacksburg, Va., provides end-to-end self-driving solutions across multiple industries, including automotive, mining and defense. "We are committed to increasing safety across all industries through the appli- cation of our autonomous technologies," said Torc CEO Michael Fleming. "The work we've done with Caterpillar in mining is a testament to that promise." The two companies have been working together for more than a decade, and Caterpillar was an early adopter of Torc's autonomous vehicle technology. After sponsoring Torc's winning team in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, Caterpillar implemented Torc technology for some mining applications. In 2015, the companies worked together on a remote-control system for skid steer and compact track loaders. Called Remo- teTask, the system enables operators to precisely control machines from outside the cab – as far away as 1,000 ft. (300 m) and at a safe distance from poten- tially hazardous tasks and environments. Today, Torc's autonomous vehicle tech- nology has successfully been applied to other commercial ground vehicles includ- ing military vehicles and most recently, consumer cars.

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