Sunday, February 28, 2010

Digger dancing

Is it an excavator ballet?

Dancing excavators on a construction site. From the Anne Troake's "Pretty Big Dig."

Some more dancing machines:

»»» The earth digging machines prepare for a performance at the Las Cruces, NM Farm and Ranch Museum

»»» Russian Dancing Diggers

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Instead of the usual calendar...

...why don't you try this one?

»»» Bauforum24 presents „Heavy Equipment 2010“ Calendar

After four months of production it is done: we´re holding the first, hot off the press copies of the construction equipment calendar in our hands. It was worth all the work. Since June we´ve been all through Europe to catch spectacular machines in equally sensational locations. From Italy to Finland, from England to Poland - round about 14.000 kilometres for 12 sensationally staged motifs.

Link: Bf24 kalender trailer

Friday, February 26, 2010

1000 excavators from all over the world...

iPhone, iPad, Mac... but no excavator? Help is at hand, in the form of an app:

»»» Encyclopedia of more than 1000 excavator types

Another nice app for my English speaking friends:

»»» "Shovel De Touch" is a tiny excavator simulator.

You can't move it forward and backward, and also rotate the body of it. You can operate the excavator with using two joystick areas as like a real excavator. Though there are three types to operate a real excavator, This game just has the ISO manipulation pattern. Usually the right and left operation of the left stick is used to let it rotate. However the left stick can do the up and down operation only because this game is on 2D world.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Driving on the moon

The Unmanned Lunar Expedition Simulator is a small 3D (OpenGL) game in which you control an unmanned moon vehicle. It is a two-player game that may be played either against the computer or against another player on the internet. There are two game modes: a racing game and a death-match game.

The game uses rigid-body-dynamics for control of vehicle movement. It has a particle system based gun, 3D audio, and an online high-score list.

The simulator is built around a pseudo-realistic modeling concept which allows an extremely flat learning curve for the aspiring remote astronauts. Currently the simulator allows for training vehicle handling under extreme conditions as well as mission training by means of a simulated scientific lunar expedition. All this is 'bullshit' of course, but it is still a nice little application worth a download.

»»» Download: Unmanned Lunar Expedition Simulator

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The next generation

Source: NASA

Next Generation Rover For Lunar Exploration Driving New Tech Here On Earth

In the year 2020, NASA will be back on the moon. This time NASA will explore thousands of miles of the moon’s surface with individual missions lasting six months or longer. Just as we did during the Apollo program, NASA will be developing new concepts and technologies – concepts and technologies that will also benefit life on Earth.


Monday, February 22, 2010

To the moon and back...

What an honour if your own invention shows great results...

... also the moon vehicle is very interesting, isn't it?

Source: NASA

»»» NASA's Mobility Field Test Phase 2 (video)

NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Lunar Architecture Team conducted studies of the possible scenarios that may be encountered on the moon. The desert-like landscape in Black Point Lava Flow, Arizona provided an ideal landscape for testing.

Source: NASA

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Google on the moon?

Google is sponsoring a competition called the Lunar X Prize. The competition is open to privately funded groups. The groups are charged with a task that's easy to describe, but very hard to achieve. They must launch a vehicle that can journey to the moon, land safely on its surface and deploy a mobile robotic device. The winner could receive more than $20 million. Several teams have already joined the competition. The race is on!

Further information:



Saturday, February 20, 2010

What’s next?

Lunabotics Mining Competition

The purpose of the Lunabotics Mining Competition is to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, in a competitive environment that may result in innovative ideas and solutions, which could be applied to actual lunar excavation for NASA.


Friday, February 19, 2010

How you control an excavator arm

Now we go into the details and find the scientific world...

Modeling and controlling an excavator's arm

Authors: Daqing Zhang, Qinghua He, Peng Hao, HaiTao Zhang

22nd International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction ISARC 2005 – September 11-14, 2005, Ferrara (Italy)

Controlling of excavator’s arm is an important and basic task in autonomous research of hydraulic excavator at present, but the behavior of the excavator’s arm is dominated by the nonlinear dynamics of the hydraulic actuators. To find a feasible way to control excavator's arm and realize autonomous excavation, firstly, Full kinematic and dynamic models of the excavator arm, regarded as a planar manipulator with three degrees (boom, dipper and bucket) of freedom...

The experimental robotic excavator

Further information:


»»» free PDF download

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What else can you do with an excavator?

A short story as an animation video:

"Who's that digging in the mud and muck?
It's Bob Basic with his digger truck.
He's teasing the worms, all full of myrth.
They're wiggling away for all they're worth."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

For practising...

without causing any damage...

Be the Boss of Your Own Construction Company and Build and Demolish With Heavy Equipment!

Build 'em up, tear 'em down: You're the Boss with Construction Destruction!

A top construction simulation game, Construction Destruction puts you at the controls of ten tons of heavy machinery!

Get in the driver's seat of seven mammoth machines, from earth movers and dump trucks to cranes with wrecking balls.

Take contracts to build, demolish, and transport buildings and materials. Bank a river, prepare a landscaping site, do whatever it takes to get the job done, but be careful - flatten an extra house or two along the way and you'll be in big trouble!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If you want to try it yourself


Here is the playground...

Diggerland is an adventure park for kids and adults who would like to ride a real construction machine or learn everything about monsters made of steel.

»»» Link:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Accidents part 1: Why make it simple if there's a complicated way to do it...

The easy way to unload an excavator from a truck

Where can you learn how to unload it in a safer way?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What is a backhoe loader?

For people who are not afraid of widening their knowledge or reading English texts:


Backhoe loaders have a very unique appearance -- they have components sticking out every which way. It's obvious what a dump truck does just by looking at it; but what are the different appendages of a backhoe used for?


Source: Wikipedia

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What is this?

Plowing snow (picture: Wikimedia)

The range of performance of the .... is from 50 to 90 kW for an operating weight between 7.0 and 12.0 t. The loader on the front can take up between 0.8 and 1.5 m³, the backhoe up to 0.5 m³. The lifting height varies from 2.70 to 2.80 m. The boom has a range of up to 6.5 m.

»»» Source and answer

Friday, February 12, 2010

Did you know?

...about the history of construction machines

The origin of these modern steel monsters dates back to medieval times. Men have always tried to use technology to dig the earth and reach the treasures deep under the surface. Gold, silver and especially ore for manufacture of tools and weapons were the most important raw materials to improve life and make it more comfortable. During industrialisation the multi-faceted coal complemented the list of important raw materials: a corner stone gaining more and more in importance at the beginning of the last century.

No sweet without sweat: these natural resources are hidden under a layer called overburden. This overburden must be removed to reach the actual raw material.

For illustration
Nowadays every person on earth uses 50 - 70 kg raw material per day. To bring this material to the surface 20 billion cbm of overburden must be loaded, transported and levelled. This job is done by small, large, gross and thin excavators.


Around 1850 - birth of the excavator:

»»» detailed information can be found here

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Simulation and animation of excavator and crane

Interesting simulations of construction machines using VRML models:

»»» Link: Project Information – Research Lab – NIST

VRML (Virtual Reality Modelling Language, pronounced vermal or by its initials, originally — before 1995 — known as the Virtual Reality Markup Language) is a standard file format for representing 3-dimensional (3D) interactive vector graphics, designed particularly with the World Wide Web in mind. It has been superseded by X3D (Source: Wikipedia).

But first you need to install a corresponding plug-in / player, e.g. here:


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to drive an excavator onto the truck...

Unfortunately, it is not that simple to get the small excavator onto the truck:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Digger driver certificate - what's that?

Construction site - come on in!

In this park, you can obtain a digger driver certificate.

»»» Here are a couple of pictures.

Monday, February 8, 2010

New excavator discipline: driving in snow

Who's driving? A stuntman?

Look how maneuverable such a vehicle can be:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

An excavator is an excavator is an excavator ... or not?

“Excavators are heavy equipment consisting of a boom (backhoe), bucket and cab on a rotating platform (known as a House). The House sits atop an undercarriage with tracks or wheels. All movement and functions of the excavator are accomplished through the use of hydraulic fluid, be it with Rams or Motors. Their design is a natural progression from the steam shovel...“

»»» Source:

Excavator (Source Wikimedia)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Found in the games archive

Digger is a Canadian computer game released by Windmill Software in 1983, popular in the era of the IBM PC with a CGA graphics card and monitor. It generally requires a genuine CGA card and runs too fast on computers faster than the original IBM PC 4.77 MHz.

»»» Sourde: Wikipedia

Here, you can try it yourself (newest Java version required):


Friday, February 5, 2010

Driving an excavator needs to be learned!

A real expert:

the excavator almost falls off the loading truck:

take a look!

Bagger fällt von Tieflader - MyVideo

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Who is Bob?

Here a blog for all those who can't get enough of technology in motion.

My heart beats for new technologies; mobile controllers and new drive concepts make my eyes water...

Curiosity and interest in everything that moves automatically, that can be driven or flown, drive me on.

Promised: No banging on but infos, entertaining and thrilling stories or even a look back into history of mobile technology.

Let's start with the excavator...