Bobcat introduces robotics kit for loaders

In response to the increasing size and lethality of roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bobcat and QinetiQ North America teamed up to develop a robotics kit that can temporarily turn Bobcat loaders into remote-controlled “robots” capable of handling large explosive devices that require excavation to remove.

The kit can be installed in about 15 minutes on any of 17 models of Bobcat skid-steer, all-wheel steer or compact track loaders equipped with the selectable joystick controls (SJC) option. The kit turns the loader into a robot capable of using more than 37 attachments. The kit can be removed easily and swapped from one loader to another.

The robotics kit includes seven cameras, a microphone, three different Crew 2.1 compatible radio options, three control options (laptop, wearable and table top), green and yellow warning lights to signal robotic engagement, an anti-rollover warning system and emergency manual shut off switches on the vehicle and on the control panel. Night vision and thermal imaging are also included in the kit.

The kit’s hardened electronics are rated at 156 degrees Fahrenheit to handle the solar load in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and have passed rigorous environmental testing.

Visit QinetiQ’s website for more information on the Bobcat robotics kits.