Watch Caterpillar use remote-controlled skid steers to play a life-sized game of PAC-MAN
Participants controlling the skid steers included social media influencers, equipment operators, and an eSports NASCAR driver
The Cat Trials have delivered a number of unique feats - including Giant Jenga, the China Shop, the Driving Range and more. The first eight videos in the series have logged more than 18 million views, and PAC-MAN is the first new installment in four years.
The Cat Trial #9: PAC-MAN takes on the video-gaming world to celebrate Caterpillar's 95th anniversary, while PAC-MAN celebrates its 40th anniversary, by showcasing Cat products, technology and services.
"These trials are designed to surprise and delight our customers and prospects, as well as people outside our industry," says Victoria Keese Morrissey, global marketing and brand director for Caterpillar. "Challenges the ghosts pose to PAC-MAN strike a unique metaphor for obstacles lurking around each corner of the jobsite. POWER PELLETS represent the role Cat dealer services play in helping our customers overcome these challenges."
The trial plays out on a 162.4-ft x 180.4-ft (49.5- x 55-m) version of the iconic PAC-MAN gameboard— 19,040 percent larger than the original scale of the maze on the classic arcade screen— and was built and played using the latest Cat equipment as well as grade and remote technology.
Commenting on the collaboration, Yutaka Fuse, head of PAC-MAN licensing & branding, said, "We appreciate Caterpillar approaching us and giving a nod to PAC-MAN's 40th Anniversary in a truly unique way, and we were excited to work with them. It's amazing how Caterpillar's equipment was able to precisely recreate the iconic PAC-MAN maze in the real world on such a grand scale. We were astonished by the final product."
The original PAC-MAN gameboard design was loaded into the Cat GRADE with 3D system on the 336 Next Gen excavator, eliminating the need for stakes and grade checkers, saving time in the construction. In total, 70 labor hours were required for the 336 to create the life-size gameboard. Roughly 6,880 cubic yards (195 m3) of cut/fill dirt was removed to build the maze that was comprised of 151 corners and 4-ft-tall (1.2-m) walls.
Support equipment to construct the gameboard, also using Cat GRADE with 3D to ensure they followed the same plan, included multiple field prep Cat dozers, Cat wheel loaders, a 323 excavator, trucks and water wagons.
"Cat GRADE with 3D enabled the workers to only handle material one time for digging, loading, hauling and dumping," explains J. Archie Lyons, creative director, global brand strategy and activation for Caterpillar. "Reducing material handling is just one of the challenges our customers face, and Cat Grade technology greatly enhances jobsite efficiency."
Five Cat 236D3 remote controlled skid steer loaders, rented from The Cat Rental Store, were used for play to represent PAC-MAN and the four ghosts - BLINKY, INKY, CLYDE and PINKY. PAC-MAN and ghost avatars placed atop the Cat loaders could be seen above the maze walls.
Caterpillar also stayed true to the original game by including fruit bonuses, represented by Cat parts boxes. Fruit is how PAC-MAN earns points, which in turn helps to earn additional lives, like how Genuine Cat Parts allow customers to get more life out of their machines.
"As a unique surprise at the end, we wanted to pay homage to the original game, in a way only Caterpillar could. Due to available memory at the time, level 256 experiences an integer overflow, and the right side of the board can't be rendered," explains J. Archie Lyons, creative director, global brand strategy and activation for Caterpillar. "We have duplicated the original screen's look of level 256 with our real-life PAC-MAN game, using four Cat dozers to create the effect."
The PAC-MAN game players
The participants controlling the Cat 236D3 skid steers using line-of-sight remote control systems were:
PAC-MAN - Jim Kosner of JIMAX Landscaping & Demolition, Peoria, Ill.
BLINKY - Joey Stone, NASCAR/Richard Childress Racing (RCR) eSports driver of the #8 Virtual Cat car
INKY - Alfonso Farjardo of Horsepower Site Services, Charlotte, N.C., a Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge regional finalist
CLYDE - Tom Gardocki, The Dirt Ninja, social media influencer, professional heavy equipment operator in landscaping and construction
PINKY - BLITZ, social media influencer, YouTube gaming content creator and civil engineer