Bobcat imbeds augmented reality into skid steer windshield

A View of the Bobcat augmented reality windshield

A new concept from Bobcat allows operators to see more than the immediate jobsite in front of them.

Advanced Display Technology transforms the windows in equipment into an augmented reality display. The transparent screen allows the operator to see both the physical jobsite, as well as numerous other data possibilities to aid in the task at hand.

“This is a canvas for us to add in a whole bunch more information for the operator,” said Joel Honeyman, Vice President of Global Innovation at Bobcat. “The possibilities are endless. It’s a display that we can put anything on.”

Advanced Display Technology is a concept developed by Bobcat in conjunction with LG Electronics and BSI Research. Built into the machine’s glass, the OLED screen from LG takes the place of the front cab windshield or side window.

“With the touchscreen, I can move information around, or I can expand that information,” Honeyman said. “We get a lot of requests for a camera view off of the bucket, so you can have that on here too.”

The concept has been built into Bobcat compact loaders, excavators and telehandlers.

Bobcat offered a preview of the technology, incorporated into a S7X electric skid steer, at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), held in Las Vegas from January 9 to 12.

At CES, the display was used to show a map of underground utilities on a jobsite.

“On a site map, you know exactly where those utilities are. So, you can upload that map in here those and be able to see them,” Honeyman said.  “You could drive the site in augmented reality.”

Bobcat is also applying the tech to grade and elevation, as well as training for operators.

The Bobcat RogueX2

At CES, Bobcat also displayed its new RogueX2 concept loader. RogueX2 is a second version of the Bobcat invention; the original RogueX, which was shown at ConExpo in 2023. The RogueX and subsequent RogueX2 were built as a proving ground to advance the Bobcat innovation roadmap, evaluate customer perceptions and challenge the paradigms of traditional kinematics and machine functionality.  

“It’s a concept vehicle that combines different types of technology around electrification, autonomy and connectivity,” Honeyman said. “And we kind of just broke our own paradigms to say, ‘what does the machine or the future look like?’ if you’re applying this different technology.”

Both the RogueX and RogueX2 loaders are all-electric and autonomous concept machines that produce zero emissions, and feature a lithium-ion battery, electric drive system and electric actuated lift and tilt kinematics with no hydraulics.     

The most noticeable difference between the two versions is the RogueX2 is wheeled, while the first RogueX features tracks. Both versions of the machine do not include a cab.

“Our roots are skid steer loaders. That’s what we invented. So, if we’re going to make a futuristic machine, we’re going to make it out of a skid steer,” Honeyman said.

The wheels also allow the electric machine to operate longer than tracks, providing up to eight hours of runtime.

It also features axial flux motors, which gives the machine more tractive effort. The machine delivers greater power output for demanding applications like grading, digging or powering attachments for heavy-duty work. 

Together, the RogueX and RogueX2 concept loaders have garnered many new patents pending.  

“It’s just a really neat concept for us to try out a lot of different technologies. And some of these might sprinkle into our current lineup as we go forward,” Honeyman said. “Certainly, this is a vehicle for us to test the limits of design and what things might be.”