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JCB controls

ergonomic design
  [vote for,

Some time in the past, I had a chance to drive an excavator, and it's really quite difficult to co-ordinate the movements of the arm. Obviously a skilled operator manages to overcome this in time. But it takes time and training.
Drive by wire is now an accepted technology in the car industry, so I think it is feasible to use a similar technology in the construction vehicle industry.
The idea is to construct a minature version of the excavator arm inside the cab, and the operator's arm fits inside it. Any movement of the operator's arm and hand is duplicated by the larger arm outside.
Ling, Mar 07 2004

Backhoe photo http://www.construc...hics/95cat416b1.jpg
Steering wheel at the front of the cab, vertical control sticks for the arm at the rear. [Ling, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Similar idea http://www.halfbake...ruction_20Equipment
The control mechanism for the giant-chopstick-like construction equipment is just a pair of chopsticks. [hippo, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Proprietary Eponyms http://rinkworks.com/words/eponyms.shtml
"Misused" brand names. Unfortunately JCB is missing. [Ling, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The WALDO® http://www.character-shop.com/waldo.html
[phoenix, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

JCB http://www.jcb.com/
[Ling, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       hmm... I have no idea how excavators work. Would it be more natural to build the controls into the steering wheel?
theircompetitor, Mar 07 2004

       My thoughts exactly [Ling]; feedback would be nice, too.
FarmerJohn, Mar 07 2004

       I just had a thought: The operator should be really careful about which hand he uses to pick his nose.
Ling, Mar 07 2004

       In my mind, JCB is to excavator as is Hoover is to vacuum cleaner.
Ling, Mar 07 2004

       Operator should sit in a little sandbox and mimic the bucket with his/her hand to move the sand. A camera records the movements, which are translated to movements of the real thing.   

       Note: Operator must resist any temptation to build a sand castle or things can get ugly.
kbecker, Mar 08 2004

       Wonderful idea! As a former excavator operator myself, I can see how this would indeed be the Bee's Knees. But include some form of feedback through the cuff and in-cab armeture. I've seen VERY skilled operators find phone cables, and water mains simply from the feedback they got from the stick controls.
Letsbuildafort, Mar 09 2004

       The 440 volt feedback? (I saw one sever a gas line in our subdivision once)
Mr Burns, Mar 09 2004

       Well, when I worked for a naturla gas contractor, we had an operator find cable no larger than the diameter of you pinky finger in the ground with a Case 580L or something like that (I forget the exact model number) using pressure feedback from the controls.
Letsbuildafort, Mar 09 2004

       Are the number of joints between human arms and excavator arms compatible. Can an excavtor arm do things a human arm cant ?
Bobble, Mar 09 2004

       //Are the number of joints between human arms and excavator arms compatible. Can an excavtor arm do things a human arm cant ?//   

       The backhoes I've seen are constructed the same as a human arm. They have a shoulder that has two axis of movement, an elbow and a wrist with one axis. The backhoe might be able to bend in angles a human arm can't, but they don't have any extra joints. The only problem is the operator's arm (in a sitting position) is tilted 90° from the backhoe's arm. The operator would have to lie on his side to have his arm at the same angle.
GenYus, Mar 09 2004

       It isn't necessary that the operators arm follows each link exactly. What is important is that he moves the bucket to the right place and angle. The linkage will work out the various angles required for the external arm.
May I add a dead mans switch on the end of the control, in case the operator joggles it when he gets in and out?
Ling, Mar 09 2004

       Why have the operator put his arm in anything? Just have a little model of the arm. The operator can grab the bucket and move it to wherever he wants. Maybe put a nice comfortable handle on the bucket to make it easier. And of course force feeback is an absolute must if this is going to replace existing systems.   

       On a system with limited side to side motion (mounted to the back of a tractor for example), the whole control unit can swivel side to side to the same degree as the arm. On a machine that can swivel 360 degrees and the operator rotates with it, it would probably make sense for the side to side motion of the model to control the rotational speed rather than the position.
scad mientist, Mar 09 2004

       This is being done today in the surgical field. Great idea!
BillS, May 26 2008

       ah..ahh....ahhhh....ahCHOOO oh shit... John?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 26 2008

       Originally [-] but changed to neutral. Operators of these devices tend to use them for long periods at a time, I would ber concerned about using fine motors to control the arm instead of major muscle groups. RSI?
sprogga, May 27 2008


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