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Proceedings Paper

Automated field testing of a track-type tractor
Author(s): Michael A. Taylor; Keith Lay; Joshua Struble; William Allen; Michael Subrt
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Paper Abstract

During the design process, earthmoving manufacturers routinely subject machines to rigorous, long-term tests to ensure quality. Automating portions of the testing process can potentially reduce the cost and time to complete these tests. We present a system that guides a 175 horsepower track-type tractor (Caterpillar Model D6R XL) along a prescribed route, allowing simple tasks to be completed by the automated machine while more complex tasks, such as site clean up, are handled by an operator. Additionally, the machine can be operated manually or via remote control and observed over the internet using a remote supervisor program. We envision that safety would be handled using work procedures, multiple over-ride methods and a GPS fence. The current system can follow turns within a half meter and straight sections within a quarter meter. The controller hardware and software are integrated with existing on-board electronic modules and allow for portability. The current system successfully handles the challenges of a clutch-brake drive train and has the potential to improve control over test variables, lower testing costs and enable testing at higher speeds allowing for higher impact tests than a human operator can tolerate.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5083, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology V, (30 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.488212
Show Author Affiliations
Michael A. Taylor, Caterpillar Inc. (United States)
Keith Lay, Caterpillar Inc. (United States)
Joshua Struble, Caterpillar Inc. (United States)
William Allen, Caterpillar Inc. (United States)
Michael Subrt, Caterpillar Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5083:
Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology V
Grant R. Gerhart; Charles M. Shoemaker; Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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