5 & 20t ROVER Prototype Development

Practical has teamed up with Verton Technologies to help turn the company’s vision for a safer crane industry into a reality.

In 2017 Verton Technologies approached Practical Engineering with a revolutionary idea. Inspired by gyroscopes that help to stabilise ships and satellites, Verton conceived ROVER (Remotely Operated Variable Effort Rotator) to improve productivity and safety in industries that use cranes and hoists.

ROVER is designed to overcome a problematic need for human held taglines to control free-swinging or suspended loads.

Verton Technologies Founder Stanley Thomson says ROVER could dramatically reduce fatalities by ensuring no human contact is required for controlling suspended loads.

The Practical Team have worked with Stan and Verton along with Salcan Process Technology (for electrical and control componentry and engineering) to develop this concept into reality and the first full scale 20 Tonne prototype is now in the final stages of the factory acceptance testing (FAT) phase.

All indications during testing have been positive. Following the conclusion of the FAT, field testing will begin. Lead Mechanical Engineer Gerrard Hickson has worked with the wider Practical team to develop this concept, applying rotational dynamics along with more traditional structural and mechanical engineering concepts.

As testing continues on the 20 Tonne prototype, the Practical Team is continuing to work with Verton on the development of the 5 Tonne version of the ROVER. The 20 Tonne version has been developed to safely and remotely manoeuvre loads of up to 20 Tonne while the 5 Tonne version will achieve the same for smaller loads. The 5 Tonne version will also incorporate a number of evolutionary improvements.

The ROVER has been designed to mitigate risk in crane and hoist operations. Therefore the products are being developed and tested to the highest safety standards and the Practical team is ensuring that all components meet relevant Australian Standards where they exist.

To date, working with Verton and Salcan Process Technology on this innovative project has provided a great blend of challenge and excitement for Gerrard and the Practical Team.

“I’m proud to have been part of designing and developing ROVER and showcasing that Practical has the knowledge and insight to take a client’s revolutionary vision and help turn it into a functional reality,” says Gerrard.

Stay tuned for more on ROVER and if you would like to find out further information in the meantime, give us a call on 07 3875 2133 or email us.