Topcon technologies supporting companies affected by earthquake
Autonomous forklift checks buildings, helps move goods to market
LIVERMORE, Calif. -- November 07, 2012
Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS), in conjunction with three other companies,
has developed a remote control machine – an autonomous forklift – designed to
enter buildings following earthquakes to determine damage, plus move obstacles
and even goods for market up to 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg), for both life-saving
and economy-saving missions.
The forklift device is an electric autonomous vehicle with adjustable forks
capable of reaching up to 20 feet in height. It is remotely controlled using
cameras installed on all sides, and has redundant systems – electrical,
cameras and control access – to ensure maximum performance in the most adverse
TPS, through its Italian-based software company, Topcon Infomobility, provided
the wireless network for point-to-point communications connections.
In designing and putting the forklift into operation, Topcon worked with three
Italian companies, Elettric 80, which contributed a forklift vehicle and
vehicle control system; VisLab, which contributed cameras and an
image-managing system; and FABER-COM, which provided a multi-function radio
remote control system.
Ivan Di Federico, TPS chief strategy officer and president and CEO of GEOTOP
Topcon in Italy, said, “An earthquake can have devastating effects on the
people, property and the environment. In any disaster there is a need to
return to normal activities as soon as possible.
“That’s extremely difficult when buildings are not safe and uncertainty is the
norm. In any area hit by a quake, there are many companies,” he said, “which
have warehouses full of material that needs to be dispatched in order for the
company to survive.”
Equipped with LED lights on all sides and a total of seven cameras, “The
innovative forklift is designed to explore inside buildings that could be
unstable and remove commercial goods in order to restore a semblance of
commerce more quickly than ever before thought possible,” Di Federico said.
The machine is “not just designed to remove goods from a building, it is also
the perfect instrument to check out buildings to determine if they are safe to
enter and remove goods.
“It is important to a stricken country to get goods moving as quickly as
possible,” he said.
“With the cooperation between the contributing companies, this forklift can
make a discernible difference in an area’s economy after a major disaster.”
Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc. (TPS) designs and manufactures precise
positioningproducts andsolutionsfor theglobalsurveying, construction,
agriculture, civil engineering, mapping and GIS, asset management and mobile
control markets. TPS’ parent company, Topcon Corporation(Tokyo Stock Exchange
– 7732), was founded in 1932.
Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc.
George Smith, 925-245-8603
Director of Communications Services
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