Remote controlled Bobcat loaders have been sent to help in the disaster recovery work following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Bobcat is working with QinetiQ North America, a technology, responsive services and innovative solutions company, to provide unmanned Bobcat loaders and associated training to aid in Japan’s recovery efforts.
Two Bobcat T300 compact tracked loaders equipped with 2m wide industrial grapple attachments have been shipped to Japan to aid in disaster relief work. The Bobcat loaders have been supplied with Robotic Appliqué Kits from QinetiQ, which turn the loaders into unmanned machines in just 15 minutes, increasing safety in recovery tasks as the machines can access less stable environments without an operator in the cab.
To be stationed in Japan for rapid, on-call deployment, the unmanned Bobcat loaders include seven cameras, night vision, thermal imagers, microphones, two-way radio systems and radiation sensors and can be operated from more than a mile away to safely remove rubble and debris, dig up buried objects and carry around smaller equipment. They will help Japan’s response teams to accomplish critical and complex recovery tasks at a safer distance from hazardous debris and other dangerous conditions.
As well as converting Bobcat loaders into unmanned machines in just 15 minutes, the Robotic Appliqué Kits from QinetiQ kits permit remote operation of all 70 Bobcat loader attachments, such as buckets, tree cutters and hydraulic hammers and other tools that can be used to break through walls and doors.
QinetiQ North America is also stationing TALON and Dragon Runner robots in Japan in the event they are needed. TALON robots have previously withstood rigorous deployment and twice daily decontamination at Ground Zero. In addition to the unmanned equipment, a team of QinetiQ North America technical experts will provide training and support to Japan’s disaster response personnel.