Caterpillar to Introduce Integrated Object Detection System for Cat® Large Mining Trucks

Caterpillar is introducing the Cat Integrated Object Detection SystemTM, designed to enhance mine site safety.  The system was developed after extensive research by Caterpillar showed that 70% of haulage truck accidents at mine sites occur during initial machine startup and low speed movement.

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The system has been purpose-built to integrate with Cat large mining trucks-models 785, 789, 793 and 797-and is intended to aid an operator when starting to move a truck and during low speed maneuvering.   It combines cameras, radar, and alarms to notify the operator when an object is close to the machine but not in the operator's field of vision. A display screen in the cab provides visual confirmation of the objects detected by radar, which enables the operator to make informed decisions when moving a truck. The system is integrated with VIMSTM and other on-board computers, enabling it to switch into camera-only mode when the machine travels beyond 66 feet (20 meters).

Using a combination of short range radars, medium range radars and four cameras, the system monitors and shows the operator the areas immediately around the truck. The radar information is processed by a new on-board touch screen display, which alerts the operator with a visual indication followed by an audible alarm if the truck is put into gear. The cameras enable the operator to identify what the radars detect.

Unlike basic camera systems, the Cat Integrated Object Detection System provides the operator with multiple types of warnings, both audible and visual. Three different levels of alarms indicate the proximity of an object or the urgency of taking action to avoid an object.

Simple, automatic and robust

The system is wholly contained on the machine and does not require any off-board infrastructure. The system is scalable, allowing miners to start with just the four cameras and add radars later. And the touch screen interface is easy to learn, which minimizes training time.

The system works automatically. Turning on the machine provides power to the Cat Integrated Object Detection System. When the machine stops, the system goes to active mode, and it goes into camera-only mode after the machine travels beyond the coverage area (66 feet /20 meters). Once the machine is again at a complete stop, the radar system reactivates.

Of course radar detects both moving and still objects, and camera views are available at all times. Additionally, any critical zone warning that has not been acknowledged will trigger an audible alarm. When the audible alarm is active the camera view will switch automatically to the zone that has a detected object. In the event of multiple objects, the camera view will toggle between camera views in zones with objects.

The components are robust and proven in the mining environment. Radars used include both short range radars, which detect objects as far away as 23 feet (7 meters), and medium range radars, which have a range of 66 feet (20 meters).

The Cat Integrated Object Detection System will be available for many current models of large mining trucks in early 2010. The system will be available for new F-Series mining trucks in mid 2010. For more information, contact your local Cat dealer or go to www.cat.com/miningtechnology.