Cool-Looking Heavy Equipment with Amazing Functions
There is also a high-tech revolution happening in heavy equipment, with innovations to conventional bulldozers and power shovels. The dual arm excavator is designed for various kinds of heavy work. Its two robot arms work much like human arms: one lifts large pieces of rubble out of the way and the other sifts through the smaller rubble underneath. It is as if the arms imagined for giant robots in Japanese anime have been brought to life. The excavator proved extremely useful after the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck in March 2011.
The dual arm excavator performed work in areas struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake. (Photos: Hitachi Construction Machinery, commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization)
3D monitors help workers remotely control the excavator from a safe distance. (Photo: Hitachi Construction Machinery)
The dual arm excavator and other machines, too, can now be remotely operated. There is always the threat that rescue workers at the site of a landslide could be injured too if the ground were to collapse further and bury heavy equipment or their operators. With remote control systems, rescue workers can operate machines via portable remote control from a safe location. Another system uses a booth equipped with camera monitors.
Heavy equipment have now gone hybrid, too. Running on diesel engines, hybrid power shovels can convert and store the energy generated by the rotating deck as electrical power, thereby reducing CO2 emissions significantly.
Left: Hybrid Power Shovel
Right: A remotely controlled power shovel (background) and crawler dump (front right)
From dual arm excavators to remote control systems and hybrid equipment, the heavy equipment high-tech revolution continues on. Once existing only in the world of anime, giant robots may actually come to life in the heavy equipment industry.
(Updated in June 2011)