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Tooltip Control Intuitive control system for excavators

Reference number
Coordinator Steelwrist AB
Funding from Vinnova SEK 1 395 150
Project duration December 2015 - November 2017
Status Completed

Purpose and goal

We have developed the Tooltip Control concept, a more intuitive way to control excavators and its work tools. The innovative control system enables the operator only to focus on the desired position of the excavators work tools. The steering system automatically combines the movement of all mechanical links on the excavator´s boom / arm and work tool for an optimal motion. As a result, excavator and work tool control becomes more intuitive and efficient. Further it results in a faster operator training process and improved workplace safety.

Expected effects and result

With the Tooltip Control project Steelwrist demonstrates its position as leading innovator for steering systems for excavators. The Tooltip Control concept is implemented in a commercial excavator simulator with motion base. A wheeled excavator has been used to verify the control system and to develop advanced adaptive control algorithms for all excavator and attachment movements in the real environment. We intend to publicly present Tooltip Control in the first half of 2018 and show what we are convinced will be the next generation´s more intuitive steering system for excavators.

Planned approach and implementation

The project has been implemented with internal resources in cooperation with external partners. Compared to the origin plan, more of the development work has been done with external resources. The main reason is that the complexity of the control algorithms has been far higher than expected. Developing ergonomic steering controls to achieve a fluid operator experience has also been a tougher challenge than expected. We will make further user studies to compare Tooltip Control to traditional technology. We have learned a lot about the complexity in designing objective user studies.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 28 January 2019

Reference number 2015-05223

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