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Tracked novelty makes light of heavy machines

Innovative use of counterweight robot

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

WERKENDAM, the Netherlands - Two local entrepreneurs trying to ease the muscle strain of workers have hit on a novel idea. They developed a robot, which allows operators of pneumatic hammers and drills to work for longer hours as the robot arm carries the equipment's heavy weight and reduces recoil as well.

A typical pneumatic or electric demolition hammer, including the chisel, weighs up to about seventy pounds. Operators lug the ‘drill' around, and carry it while working at the concrete. In the new machine, the hammer hangs from a long, hinged arm, balanced by a 700 pounds counterweight. Electrical cables or air hoses are fed through the arm as well.

The arm is mounted on a rotating head on top of small, tracked vehicle. The hammer operator can move the vehicle to whatever position needed, with the hinge and rotator allowing him to move freely.

The innovation of Arne Schermers and Arnold Horden already has found its way into the industry. Some of the heavier applications adapted from their 2004 venture are being used by a company building tracks for the high-speed Dutch railway, now under construction.