Caterpillar acquired select assets and hired employees from San Francisco-based robot and autonomy technology company Marble Robot.
The acquisition is part of Caterpillar’s automation and autonomy strategy. Cat plans to leverage the expertise of the new team, which is comprised of roboticists, to help meet the changing needs of the construction and quarry industries.
According to Cat, it intends to use onboard autonomy technology, which includes perception, localization and planning, to deliver safe, productive and cost-effective solutions to customers.
“We’re excited to join the autonomy team at Caterpillar,” says Kevin Peterson, former CEO of Marble, now a Caterpillar technologist. “In many ways, this completes a full circle for me. I had the privilege of working with Caterpillar early in my career at Carnegie Mellon, where they sponsored the development of the first generation of self-driving vehicle software. Now, with the acquisition of the Marble team, together we will drive the next generation of autonomy solutions for Caterpillar customers in the construction, quarry, industrial and waste industries.”
Cat plans to grow its services based on its installed base of connected equipment, field technology and product, service and application expertise to produce insights for customers. The company will continue to make investments in emerging technologies like automation and autonomy to meet industry challenges, Cat adds.
“Our customers need the best solutions for running an effective jobsite with improved operator productivity, lower operating costs and greater efficiency brought by autonomous solutions,” says Karl Weiss, chief technology officer at Caterpillar. “That’s why we’re continuing to invest in the areas of automation, remote control and autonomy.”