A remotely operated loader lifts a scoop of dirt.
Workplace Safety
(Image Credit: TORC Robotics, Inc.)
An average track loader, like the one above, can be retrofitted with a tele-operated drive-by-wire system in as little as 45 minutes. Wireless remote control is currently possible with a simple flick of a switch.
A worker sits in front of screens while he controls a machine remotely.
This construction worker is able to operate a 240-ton truck from inside a room. In the future, extreme temperatures and hazardous weather may no longer be a cause for lost workdays. (Image Credit: TORC Robotics, Inc.)

All over Virginia, the men and women working outside during the hot summers and cold winters building our homes and businesses are putting their safety at risk every day they show up to the job. According to OSHA, out of the 4,484 worker fatalities in 2013, over 2,100 were in construction, transportation, or material moving industries― over half of all private industry workplaces deaths. The introduction of automated technology at the worksite will help to make machinery more predictable and reduce the chance of employees being exposed to hazards should a mishap occur.

To which any business that requires physical labor will attest, employee injuries and the resulting insurance settlements are one of the most costly part of operating their businesses. Injured employees cost businesses not only millions in insurance premiums, but the loss of an experienced employee can be a burden spread across the entire workforce. Automated technology could significantly reduce workplace accidents and help keep employees safe and businesses profitable.

Automated vehicle technology will soon revolutionize the way that construction sites, heavy equipment yards, and warehouses operate, and employers will finally be able to rest assured that their employees are out of harm's way.

A huge remotely-operated dump truck.
A remotely operated loader dumps stones.
This massive hauler is equiped with automated technology such as remote driving and third-party remote stopping ability, which promotes safety and efficiency. (Image Credit: TORC Robotics, Inc.)