Behind the Scenes: Inventing Bobcat RogueX

Published on March 14, 2023

How might work be done in the future? How can new technology play a role in the worksite of the future? What’s possible when you combine multiple new technologies like EV, autonomy and merge with a new design? The Bobcat innovation team set out to explore the “art of possible” with a design free of the constraints of an operator station. Let’s go behind the scenes on this latest groundbreaking Bobcat innovation and see the realm of possibilities opened up with the new cabless design.

Bobcat is taking loaders, and an entirely new work platform to new and exciting places with a compact track loader intended to operate via remote and autonomous operation. Let’s go behind the scenes of creating the cabless CTL also known as RogueX. “The solution wasn’t initially RogueX, but that’s the beauty of invention – you start with the question, not the answer,” said Joel Honeyman, vice president of global innovation at Bobcat Company.  

Through the development process, the team recognized the increasing trend toward remote and autonomous operation.  

And ultimately the biggest question: How would a machine work if designed without an operator cab?

Designing for the Need  

Through iterative design processes, the machine took its form – and many forms before its current state.  

“We solicited internal ideas, developed multiple drawings, scale models and prototypes before finalizing the machine as it sits today,” said Honeyman.  

The key in the development of the design was the Bobcat global design studio, which supported the project through design thinking – a human-centered approach to innovation. The process focuses on customer needs, designing solutions to address those needs. Together with the innovation team, the Bobcat Global Design Studio team iterated designs back and forth, tweaking for efficiency and performance opportunities.  

“The best design solutions not only solve problems but also simplify the complex,” said Jim Breuer, director of global product identity for Bobcat Company. 

The best design solutions not only solve problems but also simplify the complex.

Jim Breuer

Director of Global Product Identity 

Reinventing to Change Paradigms  

By removing the cab, Bobcat was able to open a world of possibilities in the machine’s functionality. Most notably, the loader features next-generation unique functionality including both vertical-path and radial-path lift capabilities in one machine. This wasn’t previously possible with a cab as it limited the movements of the lift arm to only radial or vertical.  

Additionally, the all-electric and autonomous concept machine produces zero emissions as it features a lithium-ion battery, electric drive system and no hydraulics.      

The Innovation Roadmap 

At Bobcat, its teams innovate, not for the sake of innovating, but to provide value to its customers and solve challenges for their needs.   

“We recognize that the products, services and tools we create must first and foremost benefit our customers,” said Honeyman. “Customers want to become more efficient, more productive and more successful, and it’s our job to create solutions to support them in their endeavors."  

Bobcat’s key areas of innovation are focused on electrification, autonomous operation and digital technologies.  

The Future of RogueX 

As a research and development project, RogueX was built as a proving ground to advance the Bobcat innovation roadmap, evaluate customer perceptions, and test the limits of machine functionality.   

“This machine was created as a development platform, and as our teams continue to ideate, it will evolve. We are excited to continue envisioning the future of the worksite, and look forward to sharing more soon,” said Breuer. 

In its current state, RogueX is a concept customers won’t find at a dealership anytime soon.  

Learn more about other recent innovations and future products from Bobcat. 

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