Designed to conduct engineering tasks that are considered dangerous for an operator, the autonomous unmanned track loader has a number of modes of operations:
- Conventional operation allows a driver to sit in, drive and operate the Track Loader normally when tasks are considered safe.
- Remote control operation allows a driver to operate the Track Loader across a communications link from a safe location. All of the controls for driving and operating the tools are mimicked on the base station.
- Fully autonomous operation allows the driver to set the Track Loader a task such as shifting soil. The Track Loader will complete the task without any further intervention from the operator.
The programme was delivered in partnership with JCB and was part-funded by Innovate UK as a part of the Intelligent Autonomous Digital Construction Machine programme. HORIBA MIRA integrated their latest version of the Modular Autonomous Control System (MACE), a rack-mounted control system fitted to the roof of the Track Loader, which has the added benefit of being able to be easily moved on to other vehicles with little preparation.
Designed for both civil and defence use the Autonomous Unmanned Track Loader can complete a number of different engineering tasks, many of which have been identified by the British Army in their Remote and Autonomous Systems (RAS) programme. Specifically the Track Loader is capable of unmanned support to combat engineering and manoeuvre as well as infrastructure build support.
HORIBA MIRA’s MACE is also fitted in to a number of other platforms including PANAMA, the British Army’s current IED Detect system, a part of the Route Proving and Clearance capability, as well as their new small UGV designed for Hazardous Scene Assessments.