The experience I gained at Caterpillar was extremely rewarding. Unfortunately, due to non-disclosure agreements I signed, I’m unable to give specific details on some of the company projects I was involved with. In general, my work involved remanufacturing projects that supported Caterpillar’s production operations.
In addition to contributing to such projects, I was trained in the safe operation of several industrial robotics arms/welders including Yaskawa Motoman, Wolf Robotics and ABB.
Caterpillar is recognized as an industry leader in safety standards. While working there I completed safety training courses in: welding, robotics, lockout/tagout and electrical equipment safety.
The most amusing project I participated in at CAT was the development of a prototype augmented PPE. The project initially was derived from the exploration of how other companies were implementing HUD and VR technology in a shop floor environment. Inspired by the brain sensor technology included in several toys, my supervisor and I got the idea to augment a PPE helmet to demonstrate a proof of concept in a futuristic design. The practical idea we wanted to convey was that low-cost sensors could be incorporated into a hardhat to monitor the worker's level of alertness. If a pattern/signal was received indicating the onset of sleep or drowsiness the PPE device would effectively act as an automatic "E-stop," disabling any associated machinery or vehicles. For our demonstration, we ran a RC dozer by activating a certain level of "concentration" that the sensor detected. To keep the demonstration light-hearted, we purposely chose to make the set look ridiculous (something we called the "Doc Brown" from Back to the Future style of design). It looks very silly but was a crowd favorite at our final presentation.
Please Note: This prototype was intentionally designed to look ridiculous. The E-stop On/Off switch, bolt sticking out the side, and unnecessary wires were used for comic relief.