GreyBeard Dreaming

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Telepresence Heavy Haul

The Ten Axle Beam hauling the D-10 Cat pulled into the job site.  It rumbled around and stopped.  It was a STRANGE looking rig.  Not at all like what the customer was used to seeing.
And it got worse.  This THING  dropped down from the side of the Cab.  It got out of a compartment...like a closet.  It looked kind of like a guy in a suite of armor...but "cute".  As if it were purposely designed to be inoffensive looking....NOT scary.
The little robot (what else could it be?) walked over to the supervisor....and looked up at him (short robots aren't near as threatening).....
"where do you want it?" the little machine asked.
Bemused...the supervisor kind of waved...."over there....where ever"
"Ok" said the cute little robot..."be done soon...you want to sign now or later?"
"Oh...I'll sign now...it doesn't matter" said the supervisor.
"OK" said the robot "holding up an electronic tablet..."anywhere will do"
The little robot then positioned itself such that it had a good view of the rig...came to a sort of parade rest....and waited.
The rig pulled forward a bit...then backed up a bit...then stopped.
Two MORE Robots dropped down from the Cab.  These did NOT look friendly.  Metallic Hulks...they were.....HUGE.
They, in conjunction with the as yet unseen driver,  began the unload process.  First the pony motor on the trailer was started, and the air in suspension in the trailer was inflated.  The trailer, and it's load was thus lifted....about three foot up.
The two "hulks" then removed LARGE pieces of lumber from the trailer and placed them under the tracks.
The trailer was then set down...not too far...and the Hulks began unchaining the load.  Chains removed the trailer was lowered till the Cat sat entirely on the lumber....and the trailer continued to lower...until it sat frame on the ground.
The Hulks lumbered around...doing this and that....and the tractor and the Jeep pulled forward....the jeep was then detached and left over to one side , out of the way. The tractor then backed  under the trailer...the Hulks did this and that and the tractor with the trailer neck, pulled away.
The Two Hulks then went to the rear of the necklace trailer/stinger combination and positioned themselves at the rear.  At some unseen signal the two began to pull.  They pulled the trailer/stinger back...back...until the Cat was sitting, on lumber, by itself.
The little robot then approached the bemused supervisor.  "Do you want to have one of your guys move it somewhere or do you want us to?  "..
"Oh.." the supervisor gulped..."I think we can handle it"..
He turned, to see his whole crew just standing there...watching.
"Jim...move that Cat over to the holding area...the rest of you YaHoos get back to work...haven't you ever seen a truck unload before?"....he said.
One of the hands climbed up into the cab of the Cat, fired it up, and carefully drove off the blocks...then clanked and clattered over to where it was to be parked.
As soon as the Cat was out of the way, the Hulks lumbered over to the jeep and pushed it onto the trailer,padding it appropriately with the necessary lumber and securing it with chains. ....The truck then backed up to the trailer and the neck was re-attached.  The two hulks then fiddled with the rear of the trailer and detached the stinger....then standing on either side they lifted it straight up.  The driver then backed the trailer under the suspended stinger.  The hulks sat it down and chained it in place.
Making sure all lumber, chains, securement devices and whatnot were properly stowed and secured .....  The robots then climbed into the tractor which then pulled out of the yard and left.
The driver was never seen.  Just as well.  It was difficult for him to deal with people.  Being a paraplegic and horribly scarred from a childhood airplane crash he avoided people as much as he could.  He would rather deal with them via his telepresence robots...