'5G excavator' operated remotely from 8,500km away

9 April 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

The unoccupied excavator being operated in South Korea form Germany

Construction equipment manufacturer Doosan has used 5G technology to remotely operate an excavator in South Korea from the Bauma exhibition in Germany, 8,500km away, in what it has claimed was a world first.

Using what it calls worldwide ‘TeleOperation’, an operator in a booth at Bauma controlled a Doosan DX380LC-5 40 tonne crawler excavator in Incheon, South Korea

The technology used has been developed in conjunction with LG U+, the South Korean telecommunications and data services company.

For TeleOperation to function properly, it requires live video streaming at the operator’s station in a reliable way that minimises time lag in the system for the operator. The new 5G network claims to be able to offer 10 times faster bandwidth and 10 times lower latency than the 4G network. 

The system also offers 3D machine guidance, real time diagnostics and a full gauge display in the control booth. 

Doosan said that while TeleOperation can be used for general earthmoving applications, it is designed for operating excavators in dangerous applications such as industrial waste disposal, involving hazardous, toxic or radioactive substances. It is also useful for work on collapsing waste piles and in areas where there are buried mines and other munitions, Doosan said.

The excavator being remotely controlled from a booth using 5G technology


Who fills it up with fuel and greasing the excavator up. What happens when he is working next to dodgy ground or a hole which collapses and the excavator goes in, God forbid if there was a pipe layer or construction operative already down the hole or trench.

Martin Tevenan, 9 April 2019

Great breakthrough in the use of earth moving equipment. Hope to see more teleoperations in construction in the near future.

Philips Efem, 10 April 2019

Fantastic machine and tech

Frank Jones, 10 April 2019

where can you apply for the teleoperators Jobs ??

Simon Lowe, 26 August 2019

Hello I think this could be a great thing for the future. I recently was in a car accident that seems to have ended my career in heavy equipment after 17 years experience due to the stress on the body of being in the machine all day. But something like this I could operator from a office or even from my home. I hope that this is not a one off. I truly hope to see more of this coming. Maybe even in mining shovels and excavators.

William Halliday , 4 October 2019

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