#Autonomous Solutions Inc.#Autonomous Mining Dozer#technolo

[VIDEO] ASI Testing out New Autonomous Mining Dozer

The mining industry has sprung to life in recent years, finding new ways of improving productivity while keeping costs low. One of those methods has bee...

Admin
|Jun 5|magazine7 min read

The mining industry has sprung to life in recent years, finding new ways of improving productivity while keeping costs low.  One of those methods has been the use of automation.

U.S. based robotics specialist ASI (Autonomous Solutions Inc.) has been working on a number of systems to enhance the mining industry. The company is known for implementing robotics in a variety of mining platforms such as excavators, rigid haul trucks, articulated dump trucks and drills. ASI has now turned its direction to autonomous mining dozers.

The company’s mining team has entered the testing phase for a robotic dozer project, experimenting with the project near its headquarters in Mendon, Utah. So far, ASI is pleased with the results.

To convert manual dozers into robotic control, ASI utilizes technology very similar to what it already uses for most of its vehicles. It consist of NAV™ (onboard computer and communications system), Vantage® (obstacle detection and avoidance features), and Mobius™ (command and control software).

Features

ASI implements a unique range of features to its automation. This includes emergency stop, obstacle detection and vehicle control unit.

The emergency stop (E-Stop) features allow for unmanned vehicles to be controlled and stopped if the vehicle loses signal or leaves an area without permission. The e-stop control allows for mining operators to override the unit and remotely apply its brakes. The obstacle detection element utilizes sensors to enable unmanned vehicles to identify obstacles from a safe distance and react with dynamic behavior. Additionally, the vehicles on-board automation computer, otherwise known as VCU, actively monitors all sensors, actuators, communications and controllers for any errors. It overviews the entire vehicle, ensuring all systems are operating correctly.

Improvements

ASI’s new technology helps to combat growing challenges in the mining industry such as unscheduled vehicle maintenance, variance, and idle times. The company’s new robotic bulldozer can perform longer operating hours, decreased downtime for shift changes and maintenance as well as increases in fuel efficiency. Overall, the new bulldozer can offset labor costs and eliminate inefficiencies and bottlenecks with mine operations.

Safety

One of the major driving forces behind ASI’s commitment to automation is the safety benefit. In 2012, there were 8177 mining –related injuries. The company is driving safety standards within the vehicle automation industry, providing multiple layers of redundant safety features built in to every automation kit delivered.

Together, this technology forms a universal automation solution the mining industry desperately needs.