Remote Control to Improve Autonomous Vehicle Safety

FORT Robotics’ rugged gaming-style controller can be paired with up to 30 machines, giving users the ability to manage a fleet of machines with a single remote control By Abi Wylie / 15 Dec 2023
Remote Control to Improve Autonomous Vehicle Safety
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FORT Robotics has introduced the Safe Remote Control Pro, enabling users to command multiple machines, such as autonomous robots and heavy equipment, from a safe distance. 

The remote control also offers a built-in SIL 3–certified emergency stop button. 

The rugged gaming-style controller can be paired with up to 30 machines, giving users the ability to manage a fleet of machines with a single remote control. 

The Safe Remote Control Pro can be used to take temporary control of autonomous vehicles, enabling users to move vehicles to and from their missions and easily switch between manual and autonomous mode.

The remote can be used with robots in warehousing and manufacturing as well as heavy machinery in agriculture, construction, mining, and more. Remote operation reduces the risk of injuries around dangerous machinery in these industries. 

The easy-to-use controller helps operators boost productivity, minimize the need for additional personnel, and prevent unplanned downtime.

FORT’s Safe Remote Control Pro uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for short-range applications and an ISM radio band for longer ranges (915 and 868 MHz). It has an SIL 3–certified emergency stop button for immediate shutdown to prevent injury, damage, or downtime in an unsafe situation. 

The lightweight, rugged remote is designed for comfortable all-day use, and the familiar gaming-style design requires minimal training, allowing users to get up and running quickly. 

The controller also features drop, orientation, and abandonment detection, which will pause a machine or vehicle if the remote is incorrectly handled, dropped, or has been dormant for prolonged periods. Additional features include CANOpen programming, IP65 housing, and an 18-hour battery life.

Like other FORT Pro Series devices, the Safe Remote Control Pro features secure firmware to protect against cybersecurity threats, including robust protocols for secure boot, configuration, and updates, ensuring that only approved devices can communicate with one another. 

The controller can also be securely configured and managed using the FORT Manager cloud platform, available via a no-code web application or through API access for direct integration with an existing system.

FORT CTO Nathan Bivans said; “Ushering in the age where humans and machines are working side by side not only in the warehouse and on the plant floor but on worksites requires safe, secure, and dynamic control solutions.

“The devices must be safe so nobody gets hurt around machines moving on their own, secure enough to prevent cyberbreaches and the associated downtime, and dynamic enough to deal with complicated workflows, changing conditions, and mixes of technology that comprise the worksites of today. FORT is building its Robotics Control Platform to specifically address these challenges.”

Posted by Abi Wylie Connect & Contact
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