Teleo, Storm Debut First Remote-Operated, Autonomous Snowplow Attachment

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Teleo- retro-fitted Deere skid steer with Storm Equipment Metal Pless plow
A John Deere 332G skid steer retrofitted with a Teleo Supervised Autonomy kit enables remote, autonomous operation of a Storm Equipment Metal Pless snowplow.
Teleo

Described as the first commercially available remote-operated and autonomous industrial snowplow in the U.S. has been unveiled via a collaboration between Teleo and snow removal equipment distributor Storm Equipment.

With support from RDO Equipment Co., a John Deere 332G skid steer loader was retrofitted with a Teleo Supervised Autonomy kit that enables remote and autonomous operation in conjunction with a Storm Equipment Metal Pless snowplow.

“Commercial snow removal, specifically mass snow clearing in large parking lots and on other long stretches of open, flat surfaces, is yet another ideal application for our technology,” said Vinay Shet, co-founder, and CEO of Teleo. “When heavy snowfalls occur, there is an immediate need to clear parking lots and commercial sites so businesses can continue operating.”

In addition to the commercial snow removal industry, Teleo also serves customers in construction and material moving. The new snowplow follows Teleo’s recent announcement outlining its growing global dealer network and customer base. 

“The collaborative Teleo-Storm Equipment approach introduces a way to get the job done more efficiently, safely, and without customers having to purchase new machines,” Shet said. “That makes it a realistic solution for companies of all sizes.”

Teleo’s technology allows contractors to operate existing heavy equipment without an operator in the cab. A single operator can control multiple pieces of equipment from a remote desk setting.

Watch: Retrofitting Equipment for Remote Control: An Interview with Teleo’s CEO

Once outfitted with Teleo’s retrofit kit, the machines are supervised by an operator sitting in a central command center rather than in the cab of the machine on site.

As presented, the machine with the snowplow attachment is designed for mass snow clearing in large open areas such as industrial parking lots. It is intended to help solve staffing shortages in the snowplow industry by having one operator address multiple locations simultaneously.

“Remote operation of snowplows is a truly disruptive prospect for the industry,” said Jordan Smith, owner, of Storm Equipment. "Snow removal companies typically don't have just one make or model in their fleets, so the fact that Teleo's technology can be retrofitted onto virtually any make and model of heavy machinery makes it a great option for the industry.”

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Once outfitted with Teleo’s retrofit kit, the machines are supervised by an operator sitting in a central command center rather than in the cab of the machine on site. Multiple machines can be operated from one station.Once outfitted with Teleo’s retrofit kit, the machines are supervised by an operator sitting in a central command center rather than in the cab of the machine on site. Multiple machines can be operated from one station.TeleoSmith noted that by utilizing Teleo’s system, the reduced pool of skilled snowplow operators can cover more ground in a shorter period. A click of a button moves operators to a different loader and plow on another jobsite across town or even in a different state.

“This effectively could quadruple the productivity of a single skilled staff member, creating massive operational efficiencies for the snow contractor,” Smith said. “This technology could also open up snow plowing opportunities to those who are not already heavy equipment operators.”

With such technology being deployed, the joke is that today’s streaming gamers will be tomorrow’s equipment operators.

“Simply put, remote-operated and autonomous snow removal demonstrates undeniable value for contractors looking for the best return on their heavy equipment investments,” Smith said.

Teleo can retrofit any make and model of heavy equipment for remote-operated and autonomous operations, along with an autonomous-ready snowplow blade properly sized for each machine type from Storm Equipment.

Contractors with mixed fleets of machines used for applications such as loading gravel, peat moss, and other bulk materials in warmer months and then snow removal in winter months are all able to be retrofitted with the integration of remote and semi-autonomous technology. With the change only being in the style of operation, the equipment itself retains the level of flexibility of use it already had before being retrofitted, which according to Teleo makes its system more scalable and cost-effective.

The snowplows with remote-operated and autonomous capabilities will be added in the first half of 2024. 

Watch this video below of the remote-operated John Deere skid steer with the attached snowplow: