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Driverless diggers take the field

ICE news

DRIVERLESS DIGGERS are set to take control of a construction site near you soon, the ICE annual conference heard last week.

Automated technology is being driven forward thanks to research from the University of Nottingham. In trials global positioning systems have been used to convert a greenfield site to a surface fit for cricket.

'The big advantage is the time saving made available by avoiding lengthy site surveying, ' explained ICE geospatial engineering board chairman, Martin Cullen.

For the trial project, a 3D survey was first undertaken - processed through a ground modelling package - and the data transferred to the BladePro 3D robotic tool station system. No muck was to be removed from site, and none delivered as the project strutted its sustainability credentials.

A laser station took information direct to the cab's Sitevision real time kinetic guidance tool. This allowed the bulldozer's blade to be raised or lowered automatically.

Subsequent surveying found the resultant pitch was accurate to 5mm.

'In terms of technology, the laser stations are common on most sites anyway, ' said Cullen. 'On this trial project this system proved to be quicker and cheaper than traditional stake and string.'

Alan Sparks

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