Matt_Maier has some interesting ideas on making cabs as modules too. The basic idea is, since lots of GVCS tools have operator enclosures, a universal enclosure could be built and swapped between tractor and bulldozer and backhoe and truck and car...perhaps one could deliver the goods in the truck, then have the tractor take off the truck cab and put it on itself, then unload the goods from the truck with the tractor (as one hypothetical example).
The advantage (as I see it) is that you'd only need one cab for a variety of machines, and making individual cabs--which provide the environment and protection for the operator--for each piece of mobile equipment is a waste of time and resources. It makes the same sort of sense as PowerCubes to me...sort of an OperatorCube. JackMcCornack 3/9/2012
Thanks Jack. So far, aside from the general principle of modularity, the reason I think it's a good idea is that it's a way to maximize safety. It's one thing for a piece of open hardware, like Arduino, to turn your lights on and off...it's a totally different thing for a piece of open hardware to protect you at 75mph, or while moving around a couple tons of rocks. Anyone who seriously considers using open source heavy machinery, let alone certifying any of it as officially safe to use, is going to first ask how safe it is. Well, that means we need a module specifically devoted to keeping people safe. The "CabCube" would first and foremost be a 5-star crash cage shrunk down to just the space one person needs. So, if you're inside the CabCube, you're safe. With the addition of a fully air-tight enclosure it could become a comfortable environment as well. The "user story" I'm envisioning is that anyone who sits in it will be "safe, warm and dry." The key benefit from this approach is that once the CabCube is demonstrated to be safe it can be used on any number of different vehicles with no modifications. Instead of certifying the operator's safety in every different vehicle separately, we can guarantee that as long as they're in a CabCube they'll be all right. That will not only ease worries about operator safety, it will allow designers total freedom with the rest of the vehicle. They don't have to worry about making anything else safe/warm/dry. There's no need to make the entire frame of a vehicle crash worthy because the passengers are already enclosed in a frame that meets safety standards. There's no need to make the rest of it water tight, or seal out drafts, because the CabCube is already sealed, etc. - Matt_Maier 9MAR2012