BIRD’S-EYE VIEWNew camera system gives operators unparalleled look at work area from excavator cab

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Jobsites are often described as choreographed chaos – multiple machines and workers completing tasks in tight spaces and under extreme deadline pressure. That is why Komatsu developed KomVision, a multi-camera system that helps operators better track activity around their machines.

Kur Moncini
Kurt Moncini, Komatsu Senior Product Marketing Manager, Tracked Products

“Rearview cameras are already standard on our machines today; this was the next logical step,” said Komatsu Senior Product Marketing Manager, Tracked Products Kurt Moncini. “Inside an excavator, the counterweight as well as the engine and pump compartments create unavoidable blind spots for the operator. KomVision helps eliminate them and improve situational awareness for everyone on a jobsite.”

KomVision uses software to stitch together video from mounted cameras and then displays it on the in-cab monitor in real-time as one image that looks as if it were filmed from above the machine.

“It gives the operator a bird’s-eye view of everything surrounding the excavator,” Moncini added. “This is a great feature, especially for those who work in confined spaces. The operator has a complete view of the area to locate poles, equipment or crew members near the machine. It significantly improves situational awareness.”

KomVision is currently available on six Komatsu excavators – PC170LC, PC238USLC, HB365LC, PC650LC, PC1250 and PC1250LC – and Moncini expects that number to increase in the near future.

Customized views

KomVision uses multiple cameras mounted on the exterior of an excavator to compile video from the machine’s blind spot and then uses software to stitch it all together and display a real-time, bird’s-eye view on the in-cab monitor.

On standard excavators, the four-camera system captures a 300-degree view, while short-tail models use three cameras to monitor 240 degrees, with the remaining area in clear, first-person view of the operator. KomVision’s view reaches beyond a fully extended arm and bucket to cover the entire work zone. Additionally, the counterweight swing radius is marked with a red line while a yellow one denotes a “caution area” with a radius that is two meters wider.

“You get an optimal view of your surroundings to easily identify any potential hazards within those zones,” noted Moncini. “Increasing an operator’s situational awareness is the primary objective.”

Operators can use the default, split-screen mode, which displays the bird’s-eye view on the left and a selectable camera view on the right, or they can switch to full-screen mode to display the feed from all cameras simultaneously.

“When backing up, for example, the operator can use the split-screen mode to see the rearview camera on one side and the overhead view on the other,” noted Moncini. “It’s customizable and easy to toggle between cameras.”

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