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Introducing the Topcon 
Auto Excavator

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Everything else is just digging with a shovel.  

For excavators, a new edition of Topcon’s 3D modular control system, the X-53x automatic, adds hydraulic control for fully automated digging while otherwise using the same components from the original system. The new system is designed to be easily upgradeable from the 2D and 3D systems.

“We are using our own IMUs (inertial measurement units) with the system,” says Kris Maas, director of product management machine control. This includes four sensors, one each on the body, boom, stick and bucket. Those combined with a GPS antenna on the back of the machine to give you roll and pitch enables your excavator to dig fully automated to a design loaded into the machine’s control panel.

To calibrate a GPS control system on an excavator requires that you take exceptionally precise measurements of the bucket, stick, boom and position of the machine. Rather than pull a tape measure and typing in the measurements on a screen, on the Topcon’s X-53x the calibration is done wirelessly using a total station and stored in an app on the machine. You can also program the size and geometry of unlimited different buckets into the system and choose your bucket with a touch on the screen or enter custom bucket values as well.

Another challenge to automating excavators is the complexity of these machines Topcon’s solution was to build a self-learning capability into the X-53x.

“Our system looks at the RPMs and how the machine responds and how fast and what gets priority in the hydraulics,” says Maas. “It figures out the best balance on the hydraulics settings to get the ideal performance out of the machine. It will keep learning and improving itself through the lifecycle of the system.”

With fully automated GPS excavator control even relatively inexperienced operators can cut trenches, slopes, embankments and complex contours often without the need for a finish dozer or grader to clean up the work.

Topcon also announced an upgrade to its job site monitoring system – Sitelink3D 2.0. It includes a remote configuration function in which Topcon personnel can directly access and configure receiver components on connected machines while retaining an active remote session of the 3D-MC machine control software.

The new system also uses Cesium 3D visualisation engine.“That gives you a lot of capabilities to look at the current structure but also show what you’ve done on job site in 3D,” says Maas. “When you dig a hole, you can see the hole.”

With its as-built capabilities, Sitelink3D 2.0 allows multiple operators on different machines to see what the other operators are doing. So for example, if one roller operator has finished compacting a section of material, the other roller operators see that in real-time and won’t repeat the work, possibly over-compacting the material and wasting time and fuel.

Sitelink3D 2.0 also has a Haul Truck app that can be downloaded to Android or iOS phones or tablets. The app provides a real-time, cloud-based haul truck management system including geofenced sites, truck counting, routing and reporting.

Your rugged onboard Windows-based computer provides design and position feedback while digging. It also supports creating and editing designs in the field. See the whole project design on your screen.


No over digging

Beginners can dig like a pro

Fingertip control

Complex surfaces are easy

Automatics only 
engage within the 
working window

Discover how to increase performance and maximise your

Product Overview

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To find out more, get in touch with one of our Topcon specialists to see how Machine Control can reduce costs for your business.

0800 587 052

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Full-automatic mode or momentary mode

Improves performance 
in both novice and experienced operators

Technical Advantages

Accurate on-grade

Ultra-smooth hydraulics

Custom joysticks offer fingertip control

Designed to maximise your productivity  

Transform your productivity with our automatic excavator system.
It will allow your experienced operators to work better and faster 
while enabling your newer operators to perform like a pro.

X-53x Auto-Excavator

Bucket Mode

Technical Animations

Curious to see how this solution stands out from the crowd? Cycle through the technical animations below that demonstrate a few modes that are included with our X-53x Auto-Excavator solution.

Latching Mode

Momentary Mode

Customer Testimonial

“With the touch of a button, pulling the bucket in towards you is going to put you right on grade. You feel comfortable with it, you feel confident about it.”

- Andy Behn, Forman, 
Northern Illinois Service Co.