A Robotic Excavator for Autonomous Truck Loading

Anthony (Tony) Stentz, John Bares, Sanjiv Singh and Patrick Rowe
Conference Paper, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robotic Systems, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 175-186, September, 1998

View Publication

Copyright notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.


Excavators are used for the rapid removal of soil and other materials in mines, quarries, and construction sites. The automation of these machines offers promise for increasing productivity and improving safety. To date, most research in this area has focussed on selected parts of the problem. In this paper, we present a system that completely automates the truck loading task. The excavator uses two scanning laser rangefinders to recognize and localize the truck, measure the soil face, and detect obstacles. The excavator’s software decides where to dig in the soil, where to dump in the truck, and how to quickly move between these points while detecting and stopping for obstacles. The system was fully implemented and was demonstrated to load trucks as fast as human operators.

author = {Anthony (Tony) Stentz and John Bares and Sanjiv Singh and Patrick Rowe},
title = {A Robotic Excavator for Autonomous Truck Loading},
booktitle = {IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robotic Systems},
year = {1998},
month = {September},
volume = {7},
pages = {175-186},
} 2017-09-13T10:49:21-04:00