Trimble, Piaggio Fast Forward Develop Smart Following Robot for Construction Applications

Combining GNSS technology with sensors and software has enabled the creation of a robot which can follow machines or humans without the use of a joystick or other control devices.


On this week’s episode of OEM Industry Update we speak with Aviad Almagor, Division Vice President, Trimble’s Emerging Technologies, and Greg Lynn, CEO of Piaggio Fast Forward. The companies recently collaborated on integrating smart following technology into a Boston Dynamics Spot robot. This technology enables the robot to autonomously follow machines or humans without the need to control it using a joystick or other remote-control device.

No user interface is the best user interface, says Almagor, to ensure greater safety and productivity. Being able to utilize the robot hands-free allows workers to keep their eyes on the job site and the work at hand.

Controlling a robot with a device like a tablet can be intimidating, as well, notes Lynn. Eliminating that factor makes workers more comfortable using the technology; it can also help make training easier. 

OEM Industry Update covers various technologies and trends in the heavy equipment engineering and manufacturing industries. Click here to find past episodes of the OEM Industry Update podcast.     

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