Leica Geosystems benefits from scalable Getac PS236

“The Getac controller gives us exactly the long range solution we were looking for and it allows us to offer our customers a complete solution that delivers greater distances for communication than other controllers.”
~ Jan Zimmerman, Leica Geosystems Application Engineer
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When you are in charge of overseeing a construction project, whether large or small, you are responsible for the whole workflow, the technical execution and the supervision of all general matters of construction work.

For Ernst Steiger, a Foreman at construction company Morant, the ruggedness of the communication devices that his staff use is of utmost importance.

“These devices play a central role in all site activities – which is why we call them ‘controllers’. They perform a number of functions and it’s vital that they continue to deliver, no matter the environment.

“When we first got the new units, I was really worried that they would fail because staff had to operate them with dirty hands in the rain.”

Steiger also wasn’t sure that one small device could deliver all of the communications and data capture necessary as previously, his staff had needed to carry several devices to perform multiple tasks.

What was needed was a lightweight solution that also offered reliable Bluetooth or WLAN connection, in a device that is able to withstand the tough environment of a typical construction site.


The Getac PS236 PDA is used with the Leica iCON software solution together with the Leica iCON robot 50 total station. The system offers operators the scalability of being able to change the top of the unit for a long range Bluetooth module and antenna, thanks to proprietary Getac technology FlexiConn™.

FlexiConn™ enables operators to use the PS236 to control the Leica iCON robot 50 up to/reaching 350 meters away, making the solution suitable for both large and small building sites.

Leica Geosystems’ new software includes an easy to use interface and full construction terminology, making it straightforward for construction workers to navigate, and making data capture and control simplicity itself.


“If you work in the type of environments that our customers work in, namely building and construction sites, a non-rugged product simply will not survive.

“We need to offer our customers an extremely rugged product that delivers in the field. Our customers are not there to just play around with it, they are working hard.”

Thomas Ammann, Leica Geosystems Certified Partner

Generally, the ranges that are offered by a regular Bluetooth connection are not sufficient enough to satisfy the needs of construction sites and that was what drove Leica Geosystems to look for a solution that offers a greater range but delivered the same simplicity as the regularly available Bluetooth on WLAN connection.

“The new device is incredibly helpful. In the past, two or even three workers were needed to do stake-outs on the construction site. Today this can be done individually saving both time and manpower and increasing efficiency.”

Phillip Boesch, Civil Engineer, Implenia

The Getac controller delivers exactly the long range answer that the company was looking for and with this, Leica Geosystems is able to offer its customers a complete communications solution, which also provides an extended range beyond the typical distances that are standard in other controller devices today.

Leica Geosystems wanted to offer an easy and lightweight solution, so everything is built into the system, on both sides, the controller and the total station.

The big benefit to Leica Geosystems’ customers is the scalability of the different communication modes available with the Getac device. This allows them to run the equipment in one mode and jump to a higher range module later on, without having to swap to a different piece of kit. This is achieved simply by changing the cap on the top of the controller.

“Whatever tools our customers use simply have to deliver. So if it’s dirty, if it needs to operate reliably in the wet, and if the operator is not handling it gently, then the solution has to be very tough and very rugged. The Getac device not only looks very rugged, it has already proven itself in these exact circumstances.”

Thomas Ammann, Leica Geosystems Certified Partner

  • Posted at 16 January 2019

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