Built Robotics Inc. (San Francisco, CA)

A computer device generates an interface with graphics that shows three-dimensional images (or the site) of the website. This includes a location for a vehicle that can transport material around the site, and a target area within the site. The computer device sends instructions to the vehicle in order to move a certain amount of material from the target area. The computer receives sensor information that describes the depth of the target area as well as the amount of material that has been removed from the target area, as well as the position of the vehicle. The user interface that is displayed on the computing device is altered to show the current depth of the target location and the location of the vehicle with respect to the destination. The computing device changes the instructions set in accordance with the sensor data and delivers the new set of instructions for the vehicle.

Field of Art

The disclosure covers techniques and systems to manage autonomous vehicles or semi-autonomous car, and more specifically a graphical interface for controlling the semi-autonomous or autonomous vehicle performing an earth shaping job at a specific location.

Description of Related Art

Vehicles such as backhoes, loaders and excavators, generally categorized as earth shaping vehicles can be used to transport earth from areas within the vicinity of. These earth shaping vehicles are very costly to operate as they require a manual operator to be present and available during operations. Further complicating the industry, there is an insufficient workforce that is skilled enough to meet the demand for operating these vehicles. Since these vehicles have to be operated manually, earth shaping can only be performed during the day, extending the time frame of earth shaping tasks and further raising the overall cost. Relying on the modern earth shaping equipment on manual operators can increase the chance of human error as well as reduce the quality of the work performed at the location.

Operators should be at the site to monitor and track the progress of any semi-autonomous or automated vehicle’s activities. But, these situations expose the operator to unnecessary risks, for instance, injuries resulting from crossing paths with the vehicle, interrupting functioning of the vehicle or walking through loose dirt that the vehicle moves. Accordingly, there exists an urgent need for methods and systems that enable operators to control the autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle in a remote location that is not part of the location.

It is a description of an autonomous or semi-autonomous device to shape the earth. It combines an earth shaping vehicle and a sensor system to move the earth around a site. The earth shaping system controls and guides the earth shaping vehicle throughout an earth shaping routine for the site. The system uses various sensors that are integrated into the vehicle to track the location and orientations of different components as well as the condition of the earth surrounding it. The information recorded by sensors can be gathered or processed in various ways. For example it could be used to control and determine the action of the vehicle’s controls, to generate representations of current site state as well as to generate analyses based on those measurements, and for other tasks as described herein.

A computing device that is utilized by an operator creates an interface with graphics that shows the three-dimensional model. The three-dimensional representation of the site includes the position of an earth shaping vehicle inside the site, as well as a target area within the site where the earth shaper is used to shape or move earth. The computing device communicates a target tool route to the earth shaping vehicle which includes operationsfor the vehicle to use to shape or move an area of earth from the target location. In addition, the tool path could include operations that let the earth shaping vehicle to perform another earth-shaping job. The computer records information from one or more sensors connected to the earth shaping vehicles while the earth shaping vessel is moving towards the desired location. The data from the sensors recorded describes a present depth at the target location, acurrent volume of earth excavated from area of the target, a location of the earth shaping vehicle relative to the target location, a location of a dump pile where the earth shaping vehicle dumps excavated earth and the height of the dump pile. The sensor data received can be used to alter the user interface of the computing device to display the current depth of the target location as well as the position of the vehicle in relation to the target location , and the position of the dump heap. The sensor data received is used to modify the toolpath of the target and this altered toolpath of the target is transmitted to the computer.

According to a third embodiment, a computing device used by an operator generates an initial geofence around a target location in response to initial input from the user interface that is displayed on the device. The computing device sends commands to an earth shaping vehicle while it navigates through the initial geofence. The earth shaping vehicle detects obstructions within the initial geofence and informs the computing device. The graphical user interface could display an indication of obstruction. The computer responds to the second user input via the user interface that is graphical and creates a new geofence that includes the target location, but does not include the obstacle. The updated geofence is transmitted to the earth shaping device that then executes the tasks within the newly updated geofence.

The user interfaces that are described permit operators to remotely monitor and manage semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles that are operating on the same location, which increases the efficiency of how the vehicles are able to operate. This reduces risks toboth the drivers and the vehicles who manage the vehicles.

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