ASI's booth at the SME 2014 Annual Meeting featured the Forecast® 3D laser and a miniature haul truck demo to show visitors how automated vehicles interact in a mine.
In late February, ASI joined 500+ exhibitors and more than 6500 attendees at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, for the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) annual meeting.
Members of ASI's mining team, as well as sales and marketing staff participated in the exhibit hall and technical sessions, including a session dedicated to the Bingham Canyon Mine cleanup efforts. Kennecott operators have been using ASI automated excavators since about June 2013 to remove debris from the most dangerous locations on the slide area.
Command & Control Visitors to ASI's exhibit booth found a miniaturized display of a load/dump cycle that is being developed for mines internationally. The miniature dump trucks, controlled by Mobius, rolled around a small track to demonstrate how robotic mining equipment can perform complex tasks and interact with other automated vehicles.
"It's difficult to give people at an expo the immersive experience they need to see how our software works," said Dru Brown, ASI's Event Coordinator.
"We wanted to give people something a little more tangible; something that would help them draw the connection to what this system looks like and how it works in an authentic mining environment."
Safety With the risk of falling debris, landslides, and other large equipment, safety remains a major issue for an industry that is considered one of the world's most dangerous.
To combat these challenges, every vehicle that ASI automates is equipped with several safety layers from sensors to software.
Those attending ASI's booth at SME were able to explore one of these safety layers in the Forecast® 3D laser, a main component in ASI's Vantage® obstacle detection and avoidance system. The vertically spinning LIDAR sensor enables robotic vehicles to identify the size and shape of potential hazards ahead and react accordingly.
"Our technology has a lot of promise in the mining industry," said Brown. "The mine operators and managers we talk to immediately see the safety and productivity value adds that are possible with robotics. We met some great people at SME and we're excited to help them overcome some of their challenges in the near future."
The next SME Annual Meeting will be held February 15-18, 2015, in Denver, Colorado.