Global mining robot leaders join forces
Exyn drones work with Sandvik underground mining expertise Metal Tech News Weekly Edition – July 22, 2020
Last updated 7/10/2022 at 2:43pm
Two world leaders in mining robotics – Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology and Exyn Technologies Inc. – have formed a partnership that is expected to set the standard for fully autonomous underground mining.
A world leader in mining automation, Sandvik has been implementing digital mining solutions for more than two decades. The global mining supplier offers both underground mining equipment and advanced systems for autonomous and remote operations of equipment.
Sandvik's AutoMine covers all aspects of underground mining automation, from remote and autonomous operation of a single piece of equipment, to multi-machine control and full-fleet automation using automatic mission and traffic control capabilities.
The company also offers OptiMine – the most comprehensive solution for optimizing underground hard rock mining production and processes. This automation solution integrates all assets and people – including Sandvik and non-Sandvik equipment – delivering descriptive and predictive insights to improve operations.
Sandvik equipment and OptiMine technology are being used at Resolute Mining Ltd. Syama project in Mali, the world's first fully automated underground gold mine.
"We are committed to empowering a transformation to autonomy in underground mining," said Patrick Murphy, president of rock drills and technologies at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.
The collaboration with Exyn, an award-winning pioneer of aerial drones capable of navigating complex environments without the need for GPS guidance, is expected to map the way for furthering Sandvik's commitment to autonomous underground mining.
"This partnership will open up unique benefits, build on our industry leading automation offering and drive faster decision-making in mining processes to seize new opportunities for improving production performance," said Murphy.
Exyn's Advanced Autonomous Aerial Robot, or A3R, is a fully autonomous aerial system for data collection in GPS-denied environments, which includes mapping and inspection of underground mines.
The ExynAI software allows the drones to navigate autonomously and reliably without prior information, persistent communication, or infrastructure of any kind.
These drones, which can operate individually or as a swarm, produce richly detailed 3D maps using lidar.
Sandvik said Exyn drones and software will make a substantial difference when it comes to underground mine locations that are hazardous, hard to reach, or time-consuming to survey and inspect with conventional methods.
When combined with Sandvik's OptiMine, the data collected by Exyn's aerial robots creates progressive visualization and information of the mine's actual environment to increase overall transparency of the mining process.
"For the first time, customers will be able to map the entirety of their underground operations, even in dangerous GPS-denied environments, while making mining safer and improving productivity.," said Exyn Technologies CEO Nader Elm.
Sandvik and Exyn will research on how to apply and generate 3D views and perceptions of underground spaces autonomously, while leveraging the full potential of Sandvik's AutoMine system.
"Through this partnership, we hope to empower efficient decision-making for customers and drive towards the vision of fully autonomous mining operations," said Elm.
Find out more about autonomous mining at Robotic mines of the future are here in the Jan. 8 edition of Metal Tech News.