Q&A: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Bobcat MaxControl Remote Operation

Published on December 16, 2020

At Bobcat, innovation is at the heart of what we do. We look for new ways to help you work smarter, not harder. With Bobcat MaxControl remote operation, we’re doing just that. This cutting-edge technology makes operating your machines easier and more convenient than ever before. With the Bobcat Max Control iOS app, you can use an iPhone, or another iOS device, to operate your machine from outside of the cab – quickly turning a two-person job into a one-person operation. Bobcat Acceleration Manager Justin Odegaard takes us behind the scenes for more information on the Bobcat MaxControl remote operating system.

Q. How Does Bobcat Maxcontrol Remote Operation Work?

Bobcat MaxControl works by installing a single wiring harness and the Bobcat MaxControl component box to any compatible Bobcat loader. Once your dealer completes the installation, you should then download the Bobcat MaxControl app from the Apple App Store® to your iPad or iPhone. Feel free to invite other operators to also download the app. As the equipment owner, you have the power to determine who has access to which machines. Once setup is complete, you can control multiple Bobcat loaders from up to 300 feet away. All you need is the app and an iOS device.

Q. What Machines Offer Bobcat Maxcontrol Remote Operation?

Any Bobcat loader equipped with selectable joystick controls is compatible with Bobcat MaxControl.

Q. Did Customer Feedback Steer the Team Towards Bobcat Maxcontrol Remote Operation?

We shared our ideas on remote operation with a group of customers, and they expressed a lot of excitement around the autonomy Bobcat MaxControl offered. That group of customers is what gave us a big push forward to focus on releasing a remote device that was convenient and compatible with mobile technology like an iPhone. They knew autonomous capabilities were something we’d explore in the future, but they wanted us to push to get remote operation out as quickly as we could. Our industry has been working on remote operation for a long time. With Bobcat MaxControl, we just made it more accessible to the majority of our customers.

Q. What Is the Difference Between Bobcat Maxcontrol Remote Operation and Radio Remote Operation?

Our radio remote operation system has been around for nearly 15 years and is larger in size than the MaxControl. It’s a set of controls that you strap around your neck, which allows you to control your machine from a set distance. The radio system offers a longer range, physical joysticks and is not as cost effective as our new mobile system. With Bobcat MaxControl, we have made the concept of remote operation more affordable and accessible to our customers. If you’re someone who is relying on remote operation to do the majority of your work, radio remote control is the way to go. Remote operation with Bobcat MaxControl is designed for finding occasional small efficiencies on your jobsite.

Q. What’s Next for Bobcat Innovation and Digital Product Offerings?

As far as Bobcat MaxControl is concerned, we’re excited to offer more in-depth features available via your remote. Because it’s an app, MaxControl is something we can easily enhance over time to expand its capabilities. We’re excited to share what comes next with additional features including known object avoidance, unknown object avoidance, program navigation and more. Each of these features brings us closer to the possibility of a fully autonomous machine.

Ready to find out how you can take advantage of Bobcat MaxControl? Talk to your local dealer for details.