industrial design
colors, materials, and finishes

TeraTrak R1

Going the Distance
industrial design
colors, materials, and finishes

Founded in 1990, DCI has introduced groundbreaking technologies that have revolutionized the horizontal directional drilling industry (HDD). Digital Control Inc. (DCI) recognized an opportunity for a cutting edge, real-time terrain mapping product for the drill crews that would increase efficiency by providing accurate and continuous data at all stages of the drilling

process, creating a safer, more efficient, and cost-effective bore planning process. That’s where Tactile comes in. DCI reached out to Tactile to help design a new topography mapping tool that would create visual design elegance but would be rugged enough to withstand harsh environmental elements while emanating DCI’s brand language.

Leading the Charge

First of its kind, the DCI TeraTrak R1 is a real-time, terrain mapping tool for horizontal directional drilling. TeraTrak R1 easily creates continuous topography marked with utilities and waypoints, which previously used expensive survey methods. Used in conjunction with TeraTrak R1, an app is used to visualize underground hazards and the precise elevation and distance measurements along the drill path.

TeraTrak R1 addressed the following challenges: (a) a functional and easy-to-use device by anyone; (b) create a visually stunning product built to withstand the challenging environmental elements, combining robust, rugged materials and DCI’s brand language; and (c) seamless integration into the HDD workflow and DCI’s product suite, eliminating the need to deploy a separate survey crew for planning purposes.

Our Design

We approach a design challenge with “Function First… Always.” That said, functional should also be beautiful and enjoyable. In an ideal world, technology-based tools can add meaning to people’s lives, improve working conditions for everyone, and still be design-forward.

Rugged Meets Elegance

The DCI TeraTrak R1 is built to withstand the challenging environmental elements, combining robust, rugged materials and DCI’s brand language. In designing the form, Tactile created a simple silhouette with rugged details to convey a feeling of durability, quality, and precision while making this powerful tool not feel intimidating to use. Included in the form design, we developed (a) an ergonomic, easily adjustable pivot arm adapting to the height of any user,(b) optimized portability and collapsibility

allowing users to set up and break down the product easily and efficiently, (c) a universal device mounting solution providing a heads up display, paired with real-time data, and (d) a kickstand to provide hands-free use and storage. Additionally, a discretely integrated debris guard helps to keep the tires clean while walking along wet and muddy surfaces. TeraTrak R1’s timeless design is expected to withstand a 10+ year lifecycle. 

Results that Matter

Used in conjunction with the TeraTrak app, DCI TeraTrak R1 generates continuous job site topography that can be updated on-the-go, so it never becomes obsolete. TeraTrak R1 offers the following benefits: visualizes underground hazards; confidently targets waypoints to drill; measures and maps precise elevations and distances; can be used in areas where GPS doesn’t work; allows for faster bores, fewer

re-drills, and bent rods; simplifies the task and time of site surveys; and higher accuracy (plus/minus six inches over 500 feet). Most importantly, safety is a critical benefit. Increased accuracy reduces mistakes that could potentially lead to harmful drilling. The TeraTrak R1 streamlines job site bore planning, making it more accurate, efficient, cost-effective, and accessible to anyone.