Doosan Bobcat North America Continues to Go High-Tech, Invests in Radar Sensor Startup

Doosan Bobcat North America is preparing for the future of off-highway construction equipment. Check out The Studio, the company’s data innovation center located in Fargo, N.D. Consider its partnerships with the likes of Plug and Play, a global startup accelerator exploring Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous solutions, or Green Machine, a producer of electric vehicles including excavators. Doosan Bobcat is already releasing high-tech products from these ventures from Bobcat Machine IQ Wireless Communication Subscription Packages to remote control operation of a skid steer with a smartphone.

Doosan Bobcat North America just announced a new strategic equity investment with a startup that specializes in radar sensor solutions. The company’s called Ainstein AI Inc., based in Lawrence, Kan. From the press release:

“Radar sensor technology is a key component of our innovation accelerated strategy and ensures Bobcat provides the most productive machinery on any work site,” said Joel Honeyman, vice president of global innovation at Doosan Bobcat. “Radar will enhance equipment performance and provide our customers with optimal productivity and the ultimate operator experience through sensor technology. Our investment with Ainstein allows us to work more closely to provide numerous solutions to our customers.”

This isn’t the first time the two companies have worked together. Doosan Bobcat first announced a strategic partnership with Ainstein in June 2020 to identify forward-looking solutions to help equipment owners and operators maximize productivity, efficiency and safety through innovation and technology. What exactly will the companies work on together? The aim is to produce Bobcat equipment that offers radar sensor solutions to detect objects on jobsites.

How does that tech work? The radar system developed by Ainstein collects object position data — like range, azimuth, elevation and doppler information — to provide real-time alerts to operators by incorporating a combination of mmWave radar, sensor fusion and artificial intelligence. This technology will enable obstacle avoidance solutions and future technologies that support autonomous operations. Sounds pretty sweet. From the press release:

“The investment from Doosan Bobcat is a validation of our technology and leadership position in next-generation sensor development,” said Andrew Boushie, vice president of strategy and partnerships at Ainstein. “We are so thrilled to work with a strong, internationally recognized brand like Bobcat. Together, we can advance technology that will benefit our companies and industry.”

Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.

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