/ Industry News - Q1 2021

Industry News - Q1 2021

Komatsu rebrands some mining products

Komatsu announced plans to rebrand its underground hard rock equipment, surface wheel loaders and new line of blasthole drills to reflect the company’s united focus on growth in these areas. The first product, the Komatsu ZT44 track drill, made its debut at CONEXPO 2020.


The company will retain its P&H and Joy brands for the products longest associated with those names: P&H rope shovels, hybrid shovels, draglines and the 320XPC blasthole drill; Joy for longwall systems and room and pillar equipment.


“Building on the growth of our mining portfolio, we’re excited to unite more products under the Komatsu brand, while respecting the history and value of the P&H and Joy brands,” said Jeffrey Dawes, President and CEO of Komatsu Mining. “As we commemorate Komatsu’s 100th anniversary in 2021, it’s a great moment to expand the brand in mining and celebrate the growth of these product lines.”


Researchers to establish national institute for AI in construction

The National Science Foundation and Discovery Partners Institute awarded grants to support researchers at the University of Illinois (UI) and Carnegie Mellon University in the establishment of the National Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Construction. The goal is to identify key areas for the highest impact of AI design, construction and operation of the built environment, according to an article on UI’s website.


It added that researchers hope the initiative will advance both the application of AI in construction and the science of AI in general. More than 40 industry partners from architecture, engineering, construction, technology providers and venture capital firms will join the researchers in this multidisciplinary effort.


“Machine learning and AI are in the national spotlight because they can solve important problems,” said Derek Hoiem, Co-Principal Investigator and Associate Professor of Computer Science at UI. “We believe applying AI methods to construction problems will produce a seismic shift in AI research.”


Extreme Sandbox opens new Texas location

Extreme Sandbox recently opened a new location in Sasche, Texas, inside The Station mixed-use district. Like its other sites, this one features Komatsu equipment.


Extreme Sandbox, a heavy-equipment adventure company, is an open-air entertainment concept that is a destination for individuals looking to fulfill a bucket-list item or for corporate groups seeking a unique outing and/or team-building activity. It presents guests with the opportunity to operate construction equipment, including excavators, dozers and wheel loaders, under the supervision of highly-trained expert instructors.


Additionally, the company offers entry-level heavy equipment training and student camps for those looking at a career in the construction trades. “We are excited to be open to the public at our new Sasche location,” said Extreme Sandbox CEO and founder Randy Stenger. “The City of Sasche is an amazing community and is the perfect hub for new business to grow and thrive. Not only do we provide an amazing bucket-list experience, but we also hope to inspire the next generation of construction workers. Whether you are a 14-year-old high school student or a 94-year-old grandmother, we make learning fun.”