"World's First Cab-less Remotely Operated Electric Skid Steer": The Elise CBL

Firstgreen Industries Elise CBL cab-less remotely operated electric skid steer loader
Firstgreen Industries

Firstgreen Industries, formerly Kovaco Electric, introduced the first globally, commercially available full-size electric skid steer in 2021. Now, it's back with the “world’s first cabinless remotely operated electric skid steer,” dubbed the Elise CBL.

With no need for an operator inside, the Elise CBL, or Clean Building Logistics, is designed to reduce the risk of injury or exposure to hazardous materials in high-risk environments.

“The new model will take indoor and underground excavation to a new level. With a fully remote-controlled, full-sized skid steer at your command, your on-site safety record, workload, and time have been completely reimagined. With zero emissions, this unit is the only working model in the industry that does not require ventilation for your onsite workforce. Safety, functionality, and cost-effectiveness: What more can you ask for from your investment?” said Ken Pederson, sales manager at Evolution Mechanical, an authorized Firstgreen Industries distributor.

The Elise CBL can be outfitted with 240Ah or 400 Ah lead-acid batteries or 300 Ah or 420 Ah lithium-ion batteries. Like Firstgreen’s electric compact loader, the CBL has three independent electric motors, two for the drivetrain and one for the hydraulics.

Firstgreen says the lead-acid batteries take 5 to 10 hours to charge, depending on the charger. The lithium-ion batteries can be charged in as little as 3 hours. A variety of charging solutions can be purchased with the machine.  

For customers requiring more battery life, the batteries can be swapped out during the shift. “This process takes 5 minutes, and it is recommended for lead-acid batteries, which are not that expensive. It makes sense to buy a set of two. It’s a solution that is widely used in mining in Chile,” said Jan Otta, project manager at Firstgreen Industries.

The Elise CBL is operated via a hard-mounted display or, as a backup, an iOS or Android app. This gives operators a clear line of sight while placing them out of harm’s way. The CBL can be operated from up to 164 feet away with the remote control. By the second quarter of this year, Firstgreen says, it will offer teleoperation using 5G.

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“We supply the machine with a hard-mounted display, and that is the best option. Otherwise, the owner simply downloads the app to their phone and can operate the machine using Bluetooth with range up to 10 meters (32 feet),” says Otta. “Operating the machine with phone is possible, but it's primarily designed for loading of the machine on a truck or as an emergency solution.”

By removing the cab, the machine’s overall height and center of gravity is lowered. This eliminates the need for FOPS/ROPS, improves loading capacity and enhances stability, the company says. The CBL is light enough to be towed behind a pickup and narrow enough to fit through small passageways, making it ideal for smaller ag and construction operations.  

Operators can choose from four individual travel speeds for both hydraulic and travel functionalities. It tops out at 7.5 miles per hour. A universal plate system allows attachments from Firstgreen or other manufacturers to be used with the CBL. “Our machine has standard flow hydraulics of 65 liters per minute. Some rotation attachments require higher flow, and for those, we can provide the electric equivalent,” Otta says.

The CBL’s fleet management solutions allow owners to view machine performance data, assign permissions to operators and manage account credentials for each machine.

Beyond telematics, the Elise CBL integrates state-of-the-art technologies, including AI-powered analytics, IoT connectivity, and an advanced materials database. Features include:

  1. Material Optimization Processor (MOP): Using a sustainable materials database, the CBL recommends the most eco-friendly and cost-effective options for construction projects.
  2. Waste Diversion System (WDS): The WDS identifies materials that can be reused or recycled, ensuring that waste is handled in the most environmentally responsible manner and reducing landfill contributions, the company says.
  3. Predictive Energy Modelling (PEM): PEM uses advanced simulations to predict a building's energy consumption patterns. It suggests design and material changes to reduce energy usage and operational costs.
  4. Dynamic Lifecycle Tracking (DLT): DLT continuously monitors a building's performance and environmental footprint to adapt to changing environmental standards and maintain green building certifications over time.
  5. Integration of AI and IoT Technologies: The platform incorporates artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to provide real-time data processing and decision-making.
  6. Circular Economy Approach: By prioritizing the reuse and recycling of materials and resources, Firstgreen says the Elise CBL aligns with circular economy principles, aiming to create a regenerative system that minimizes waste and encourages the continual use of resources.

Quick Specs:

  • Maximum Load Capacity: 700 – 1,200 kg
  • Tipping Load: 1,400 – 2,2200 kg
  • Maximum Total Weight: 3,250 -5,050 kg
  • Operating Weight: 2,559 – 3,550 kg
  • Overall Width: 170 cm – 181 cm
  • Battery Type: Lead-acid/Lithium
  • Usage Type: Remote
  • Remote Control: 433 MHz /2.4 GHz