Bobcat has launched its MaxControl remote control system, which enables operators to control its compact loaders remotely via an app, using an iPhone or iPad.
Bobcat says the system is just as intuitive as using any phone app. The system uses a Wi-Fi signal to communicate with the user’s iOS device and operates in a range of up to 100m.
In remote areas with poor connectivity, the system keeps the operator logged on for 12 hours of operation.
Bobcat loader owners do not need a new machine or hardware updates. The system is compatible with all Bobcat loaders (from J to R-Series), with selectable joystick controls (SJC) dating as far back as 2004.
The system is now available on iOS devices, while an Android version will be available shortly.
Vijayshekhar Nerva, Head of Innovation and Acceleration for Doosan Bobcat EMEA, said: “The jobsite of the future is a more connected place and gamification will play a vital role.
“Changing demographics and consumer preferences are pushing our industry into categories that have been unheard of or have been poorly addressed in the machinery sector.
“At the same time, the need to address environmental impact, safety and elimination of downtime has become paramount.”
With remote-control capability through the phone, Bobcat says no extra gadgets are required. The manufacturer says it will be easy to get the latest upgrades once available.
Part of the thinking behind the concept was to be able to combine jobs without having to jump in and out of the loader’s cab, providing the operator with a different view of the job in hand, especially in tight or dangerous areas or those with blind spots.
Also, helping to achieve some two person jobs solo such as loading a machine onto a trailer or controlling a second machine while sitting in another.
The app can be synchronised with multiple machines, with switching between seamless
Other features include remote machine diagnostics, giving multiple users access to a machine for quick operator changes, alerting of machine error codes directly on the phone and the remote tracking of operational hours.
The app can be synchronised with multiple machines, with switching between seamless.
Bobcat says remote operation is the first feature and it is looking at offering object avoidance and semi-autonomy in the future.