Leica Geosystems, Kobelco Collaborate to Develop Remote Excavator Operation for Construction Industry

Leica Geosystems part of Hexagon, announced a collaboration with Kobelco Construction Machinery, a leading provider of excavators and cranes, to develop integrated 2D and 3D machine control solutions that can be operated remotely as part of the Kobelco K-DIVE CONCEPT*. The companies will work together to help facilitate the remote operation of excavators, with a focus on bringing more efficiency, safety and productivity through digitalization to the heavy construction industry.

K-DIVE CONCEPT is a construction equipment telework service system that will provide remote operation and connect data of operators, construction machinery and businesses. By manipulating a dedicated cockpit with displays showing the jobsite from an office, operators can control excavators remotely without going to the actual jobsite. Kobelco Construction Machinery will take advantage of high-speed 5G mobile communication systems as the core of K-DIVE CONCEPT.

Leica MC1 3D machine control solutionLeica MC1 3D machine control solutionThe advanced Leica iCON 3D excavator machine control solution guides the operator using reference models and GNSS in 3D. Design information and real-time cut/fill indications are displayed on the control panel, allowing the operators to rapidly excavate to the reference design on projects, such as large road and infrastructure construction, subdivision building, industrial sites and demolition works. Via a new cloud-based Construction Equipment Telework Service system, remote operators can control excavators’ performance on a jobsite in real-time.

The relationship between Leica Geosystems and Kobelco Construction Machinery will take advantage of Leica Geosystems know-how in relation to K-DIVE CONCEPT’s next-generation Telework System. It will enable a diverse range of operators to have access to any jobsite without being restricted by location. Using a remote system enables contractors to view progress of jobsites virtually and use it as virtual training for operators.

“We are honored to be chosen as technology partner in our common journey toward an autonomous jobsite,” said Magnus Thibblin, Leica Geosystems Machine Control President. “Working with a leading excavator manufacturer like Kobelco Construction Machinery fulfil our ambition to be on the forefront of technology within the heavy construction industry.”

“We have great ambitions with K-DIVE CONCEPT, and in our search for technology to achieve this, we are excited to work with Leica Geosystems,” said Yoichiro Yamazaki., Kobelco Construction Machinery General Manager, Business Development Department, Corporate Planning Division. “Our IoT revolutionizes the improvement of safety and on-site productivity, allowing a diverse range of operators to work remotely.”