iconiconiconiconiconiconiconiconiconiconlegacy_arrow-link-previouslegacy_arrow-linklegacy_closesocial_facebooksocial_googleplussocial_linkedinsocial_redditsocial_twittersocial_youtubeiconiconiconicon

DECEMBER 12, 2017 – Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI): ASI Mining, has collaborated with Enaex (subsidiary of the Sigdo Koppers Group) to develop semi-autonomous blasting functionality with ASI’s autonomous command and control software, MOBIUS.

“Mobius continues to expand as an enabler of autonomous applications in mining,” said Drew Larsen, Director of Business Development for ASI Mining.“It’s expanding its role as an integration software platform for autonomous mobile equipment, including haul trucks, dozers, drills, etc., enabling them to work together within an autonomous mining environment. We are excited to add blasting equipment to that growing list with the involvement of Enaex.”

ASI’s Mobius for Blasting application provides capability for tele-op and autonomous navigation of blast vehicles, including mobile manufacturing unit and stemming vehicles. In addition, Mobius has the potential to coordinate drill and blasting, resulting in dynamically tailored blast processes based on actual “As-Drilled” hole data, creating higher efficiency and increased fragmentation.

Steps were taken to ensure the autonomous blasting solutions meet all required safety, operational and availability standards, given the high risk of danger for both workers and equipment.

Mobius route for stemming truck
Mobius interface displaying a path for a stemming truck

“These projects were specially created to further enhance the mining operation and its resources by taking care of our greater value, which are people,” said Juan Andrés Errázuriz, CEO of the Enaex Group.

Enaex announced the joint robotic effort at a recent event highlighting Mine-iTruck, a “mobile manufacturing unit,” using teleoperation and autonomous features that operate the vehicle autonomously inside an open pit mine. This development is part of an ecosystem of teleoperation and autonomous units that will allow Enaex to improve workers’ safety by using technology to perform tasks on risky mine environments from a safe location.

About Autonomous Solutions, Inc.

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. is a world leader in vehicle automation. ASI’s Mobius platform provides an OEM-agnostic, interoperable command and control software solution for autonomous vehicles. Mobius enables mine operations to integrate a variety of mining based vehicles under a comprehensive platform. ASI’s robotic hardware and software systems allow users to safely manage their entire fleet of vehicles autonomously. A world leader in vendor-independent vehicle automation systems, we serve clients in the mining, agriculture, automotive, government, and manufacturing industries with remote control, teleoperation, and fully automated solutions, all from our headquarters and 100-acre proving ground in northern Utah.

ASI’s vehicle automation products can be found in companies and government agencies throughout the world, including Anglo American, Rio Tinto, Ford Motor Company, Case New Holland, Luke Air Force Base, General Dynamics, Sharp Electronics, and others.



Mine i-Truck
Photo courtesy of Enaex

About Enaex

Enaex, a subsidiary of the Sigdo Koppers Group, has over 96 years of experience in the explosives market. It is the third largest producer of ammonium nitrate in the world, the leader in blasting services in Chile and Latin America and the first company in the world that is actively developing a complete robotized solution for blasting. Enaex’s mission is to become the most prestigious company in its industry and deliver first class blasting solutions in the most important mining regions of the world.






OCTOBER 31, 2017 – Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) and Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co. (Liebherr) are pleased to announce that Liebherr’s new autonomous ready haul trucks will be compatible with ASI’s autonomous command and control platform; MOBIUS. Liebherr’s vision of an autonomous haul truck includes an open interface that enables the truck to integrate to ASI’s Mobius platform. Liebherr’s autonomous vehicles can be controlled under an OEM agnostic command system for autonomous vehicles, providing maximum flexibility for their customers.

By adopting the Mobius platform, Liebherr is poised to differentiate its autonomous vehicles by addressing the market need for interoperability and openness,” explains ASI’s Drew Larsen, Director of Business Development over Mining. “I believe the market will welcome Liebherr’s decision.”

Liebherr has integrated with the Mobius protocols for its vehicle control interface, rather than establishing a proprietary command and control platform on its own. This move to an open platform will provide much needed flexibility to their customers when integrating different autonomous vehicle types throughout a mine site.

About Autonomous Solutions, Inc.

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. is a world leader in vehicle automation. ASI’s Mobius platform provides an OEM-agnostic, interoperable command and control software solution for autonomous vehicles. Mobius enables mine operations to integrate a variety of mining based vehicles under a comprehensive platform. ASI’s robotic hardware and software systems allow users to safely manage their entire fleet of vehicles autonomously. A world leader in vendor-independent vehicle automation systems, we serve clients in the mining, agriculture, automotive, government, and manufacturing industries with remote control, teleoperation, and fully automated solutions, all from our headquarters and 100-acre proving ground in northern Utah.

ASI’s vehicle automation products can be found in companies and government agencies throughout the world, including Anglo American, Rio Tinto, Ford Motor Company, Case New Holland, Luke Air Force Base, General Dynamics, Sharp Electronics, and others.



Autonomous ready haul trucks

About Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co.

Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co. has been manufacturing large mining trucks designed to handle payloads of up to 363 t / 400 tons for the international mining industry since the mid-1990s. The trusted diesel-electric drive concept ensures the highest level of cost-effectiveness and, when paired with a Liebherr R 996 B or R 9800 mining excavator, the trucks are perfectly suited for the demands of mining environments. Customers can expect a high level of performance from these machines at the lowest cost per ton. Since Liebherr’s move into the mining industry, its equipment has set standards in open-cast mining operations around the world. Through advanced technologies, long-life components and comprehensive on-site customer service, Liebherr mining trucks, excavators and crawler tractors ensure the highest levels of up-time and cost-efficiency – even under the toughest of conditions. Liebherr’s continuous focus on innovation and quality ensures maximum customer value in all product areas.






Car companies often boast about the safety of their vehicles. Car collisions remain a too common occurrence, so protecting the passengers inside needs to be a top priority. But how are automotive brands confident their cars and trucks are, in fact, safe? It starts by subjecting the vehicles to rigorous durability and misuse testing on miles of tracks known as proving grounds.

Traditionally, a proving ground is where car makers test automobiles in different scenarios with respect to speed, climate conditions, road conditions (pot holes, loose rubble, etc.), and other driving hazards. Having a human perform these tests can be dangerous, adding risk of injury and the high cost of insurance. It is also inefficient, as humans are not always able to easily perform and repeat the tests to satisfactory levels without multiple attempts.

There are strict regulations regarding how long a person can drive on proving grounds, primarily due to the extreme hazardous conditions that exist on the tracks vehicles are tested on. By replacing the test driver with advanced A.I., car makers can achieve faster, more productive misuse testing that doesn’t put human lives in jeopardy.



ASI’s OEM agnostic Vehicle Automation Kit and intelligent software is able to automate the driving functions of virtually any vehicle (consumer vehicles, tractor, mining equipment), and enhance the safety and productivity of proving grounds. Our technology puts robotic technology in the driver’s seat, and allows a human operator to direct tests from the safety of a computer back at the control center.

The kit is rugged enough to withstand any harsh durability test, and repeat it for as long as a fuel tank will allow. Robotics can also complete actions that are not suitable for humans to execute, such as rollovers, jumps, and other dangerous maneuvers on any road surface including compacted rubble, loose rubble, potholes and ruts, mud, rough grassy field, and more.

In addition to providing better safety, our Vehicle Automation Kit cuts the time that it would take human drivers to complete the same test in half. Automated vehicles do not have to stop for regulated breaks as deemed by law, or to switch drivers due to fatigue. A single operator can command multiple vehicles at the same time to further improve efficiency.




The same operator can program the automobiles to increase or decrease speed at designated parts of the track, if so required by the demands of the test. Since they are precise and less prone to error, automated vehicles yield results that are easily repeatable for the highest levels of integrity.

ASI’s advanced automation technology is trusted by Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, and Hyundai to conduct tests that are safe and repeatable at their proving grounds. These tests can yield reliable results in half the time, all without putting humans in harm’s way. Our Vehicle Automation Kit is an affordable solution that increases proving ground efficiency and decreases exposure to risk at a value our expensive competitors can’t match. To learn more, visit us today at asirobots.com/automotive.






You may have heard the terms collision warning system (CWS) or collision avoidance system (CAS) when watching a car commercial. Automakers, realizing the future of transportation lies in driverless technology, have been deploying these features for nearly a decade. As a result, people are becoming acquainted with automated technology, and will one day be comfortable enough to give full control of their automobiles to artificial intelligence.

While the terms collision warning system and collision avoidance system may seem interchangeable, there are actually marked differences between the two. As mining operations begin to invest in automated technology to improve the efficiency of their fleets, it’s important to understand the distinctions before making a big capital expenditure.

A collision warning system uses GPS radar and/or lasers to detect an impending collision, and audibly warns the driver a crash is imminent. A collision avoidance system takes this a step further, and will activate the brakes or increase speed and navigate the vehicle away from the danger. CAS doesn’t completely replace a driver, but will actively assist in avoiding hazards in order to provide an extra layer of security. Some firms that provide automation upgrades may try to misconstrue the terms, so it’s imperative to know the differences when investing in this technology.



At ASI, our Mobius® command and control system is a modular platform mining companies can incorporate into their current operations to provide incremental automaton upgrades to their vehicles. Many mining operations aren’t able to make a full-scale migration to a driverless fleet due to capital requirements, possible disruptions to production, or wariness about artificial intelligence. As a result, it’s common to take a piecemeal approach, and adopt a few automated features like CAS or CWS. However, with other platforms, these isolated solutions often do not provide interoperability, making future upgrades challenging and serving as a roadblock on the pathway to a fully unmanned mining fleet. This is where Mobius has the advantage.

Mobius is designed to allow a phased, low risk, cost-effective approach to automation. After setting up the Mobius command and control system, operations can add driver assist features that include CWS, CAS, and choreography which provides an extra layer of safety, as well as increases productivity through minimize queuing of haul trucks as well as hung shovel time. As an OEM agnostic platform, companies can scale later to add even more features to Mobius, such as auto-spotting and fatigue monitoring. Then, when it’s time to migrate to a completely driverless fleet, operations run shadow trials in Mobius to fine tune the switch to a fully autonomous process before letting the artificial intelligence take over production.




So when considering a collision warning system or collision avoidance system keep ASI’s Mobius CWS and Mobius CAS in mind. Unlike other solutions, Mobius allows easy scaling to more automated functions when the time is right, protecting your early investment on the pathway to autonomy. For more information, visit us at asirobots.com.





Rethinking strategies to unlock productivity and improve sustainability is at the top of the list for companies in the mining industry. But challenges in rolling out substantive changes serve as one of the greatest hurdles for miners in 2017.

"As mines embrace digital, their core processes will become fully integrated, autonomous, remote and automated—capabilities made possible by a network of low cost, highly capable sensors that use internet of things (IoT) technologies."

The 2017 edition of Deloitte’s Tracking the Trends details how mining professionals are creating successful strategies for today’s ever-changing market conditions. For the second consecutive year, one of Deloitte’s top strategies is to invest in digital innovation.

“There are countless innovative ideas to improve productivity. Despite this, many mining companies are coming to realize that true innovation cannot be achieved by implementing isolated technology solutions.

Research by Deloitte's innovation practice shows that organizations considered successful serial innovators tend to approach innovation as an enterprise-wide differentiator, exhibiting capabilities across four building blocks: they employ a tailored approach to innovation; they structure the organization to house the innovation competency; they acquire and nurture the appropriate resources and skills; and they develop metrics and incentives to guide their performance.”

"Without an incremental, multi-phase approach to implementing new technology, the cost and unfamiliarity can stymy innovative solutions like autonomy."

Deloitte recognizes that without an incremental, multi-phase approach to implementing new technology, the cost and unfamiliarity can stymy innovative solutions like autonomy.

“The mining sector has been engaging in various forms of innovation for years. Driverless trucks and other forms of automation allow miners to set up remote operations, enhancing safety and efficiency. The use of sensors to monitor a wide range of factors—from tire pressure and road conditions to both equipment and labor performance—enables the collection of highly valuable data points. When parsed through advanced analytics, that data yields insight that can help companies reduce cost, streamline equipment maintenance, and prevent safety incidents.”

“As mines embrace digital, their core processes will become fully integrated, autonomous, remote and automated—capabilities made possible by a network of low cost, highly capable sensors that use internet of things (IoT) technologies. These digital mines will fully digitize engineering and asset information and integrate it with location-aware mobile devices to support an efficient and collaborative workforce.”




The mining industry continues to reinvent the future. The mood of cautious optimism in mining precipitates careful investment in the future. Companies face key choices about where and how to invest in 2017 – read the rest of Deloitte’s Tracking the Trends 2017 to learn about the other strategies being adopted this year.








The benefits autonomy will bring to mining operations are well known, but the way to transition to unmanned fleets is less clear. In this, the first in a trilogy of blog posts, we’ll demonstrate how an incremental, multi-phase approach can serve as a successful path to full scale autonomy.

A mining operation may be slow to adopt advantageous autonomous technology for a number of sensible reasons. The first is cost. Transitioning from a manned fleet to a robotic workforce requires a significant investment that puts autonomy out of the hands of many companies. The second is unfamiliarity. Managing artificial intelligence and advanced robotics isn’t quite as intuitive as hiring and training a human.



Another reason is short-term unproductivity. Operations simply can’t afford the temporary reduction in productivity during the migration process. In order to provide for a seamless transition, ASI offers a gradual approach to adopting this next generation technology.

Similar to the recently unveiled CNH Industrial autonomous concept tractor, this security robot is built on ASI’s hardware and software platform. Mobius, ASI’s command and control software enables a single operator to oversee the coordination and cooperation of multiple A-UGVs.



Driver assist. It’s a feature that comes with more and more vehicles offered by automakers over the last few years. The car industry understands that people are naturally wary of yielding control of their car over to artificial intelligence, and have rolled out driver assist technology to get individuals comfortable with a small degree of autonomy. Cars equipped with driver assist features can parallel park themselves and stay in their lanes while cruising on freeways. Driver assist features are also available for mining vehicles, and marks the first, affordable and low risk step into transforming from a manned to a fully autonomous fleet.

At ASI, our engineers have developed intelligent hardware and software that can be used to bring autonomous functionality to existing mining equipment. It all starts with Mobius FMS (Fleet Management System). Mobius FMS is an OEM agnostic command and control platform designed for interoperability and scalability. The primary functions of Mobius FMS include dispatch, position monitoring, and reporting functionality. Mobius FMS serves as a hub that allows for the integration of driver assist features like collision warning and avoidance systems (CWS/CAS), fatigue monitoring, and spotting assist.



The CWS module is comprised of an operator warning system which does not interact with vehicle actuation. Once Mobius FMS is setup, no additional hardware is needed for basic CWS functionality as it utilizes GPS proximity warnings. The base CWS module is also expandable to include sensor based detection along with projected path filters for additional intelligence.

ASI’s robust Mobius FMS and CWS module are cost-effective driver assist features suitable for mining companies looking to carefully integrate autonomy into their operations. The driver assist phase provides familiarity with intelligent technology at low-risk, while keeping manual control in the hands of humans.

It is the first step to achieving an unmanned, fully autonomous fleet. But before that can be realized, a second step involving partial-autonomy must be completed. Be sure to visit us soon to learn more about this next phase; and for more information about our offerings, visit us at www.asirobots.com today!

For more information about security robots and ASI visit www.asirobots.com/security







Share:
Related topics: Articles
An ASI Automated Ford Explorer

ASI was recently in news of The Herald Journal, a Logan, Utah daily newspaper.

Reporters from the Herald Journal visited our headquarters in Petersboro, Utah to speak with ASI, tour our facilities and see some of the latest and greatest that’s going on around here. They talk about our recent growth, award, and ASI in general.

Read their article to get a local perspective on who ASI is.

Photo: Eli Lucero / Herald Journal

OEM Off Highway Nov/Dec IssueThe article "Driver Not Included" in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of OEM Off-Highway magazine features an interview with ASI's Mitch Torrie and Paul Lewis.

The following article includes excerpts from an interview between ASI founders Mitch Torrie and Paul Lewis and the OEM Off-Highway magazine.

The magazine article, entitled "Driver Not Included," was published in the November/December 2013 issue and highlights the history and benefits of vehicle automation.

"When we started ten years ago, the technology for GPS systems and IMUs was much more expensive—ten times as expensive as it is now," says Paul Lewis, co-founder and Director of Software Development at Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI). For the past thirteen years, ASI has provided vehicle robotics to customers in a range of industries including mining, military, farming, and automotive.

While vehicle automation remains an emerging technology in most of these industries, the price of technology and public acceptance continue to improve.


"We were working with early adopters creating proof of concept machines," continues Lewis. "Now that the market is more mature, the technology is cheaper and more accessible for higher volumes, and people are culturally willing to accept vehicles that drive themselves."

Recent events in the industry, like Google's purchase of Boston Dynamics, highlight the buzz about robotics as 'the next big thing.'

Even with more companies entering the space, ASI remains well positioned as an experienced leader with key product advantages, most notably, the Mobius™ command and control software.

"The way we designed Mobius was to allow the user to change a fair amount of how it looked, felt, and what information was being presented to them," explains Lewis. "We're working on some next generation simplifications to make the system even more powerful and easy to use."

"Instead of selecting a specific application for a particular vehicle for a certain location," added Mitch Torrie, co-founder and Director of Vehicle Automation at ASI, "the system will automatically suggest the most appropriate actions… While our early adopters were technically literate, now we're putting our systems on vehicles in countries where it may be difficult to find an operator with a driver's license, let alone high technical skills.




International Resource Journal: October 2013 issueThe October 2013 issue of the International Resource Journal highlights the capabilities of ASI's mining vehicle technology in the article "Age of Autonomy."

"One of the greatest benefits of automation is the efficiency of a machine, and the way in which it operates," said Mitch Torrie, Director of Vehicle Automation at ASI to Juliet Langton, Editor of the International Resource Journal (IRJ). The IRJ approached Torrie in August about the impact of vehicle automation in the mining industry. ASI has provided robotic solutions to the mining industry for about ten years and has taken part in a range of technology advancements over the years. The following quotations are excerpts from Torrie's interview with the IRJ.

Productivity & Cost Improvements
"Often we get reports from customers that their manual drivers will speed down a hill, potentially damaging the vehicle frame, so that they can sit and eat their lunch or read the newspaper," said Torrie.

Automation technology is designed to operate mining equipment as closely to OEM specs and safe operating procedures for the environment as possible, making maintenance schedules much more predictable.

"Even if the operator sets a high speed on a road, for example," continued Torrie, "the software looks ahead and knows the center of gravity and the mass and everything else for the vehicle, and it will slow the vehicle down for a corner if it might roll at the speed that the operator set."

One of the greatest barriers to the acceptance of mining automation technology has been the high cost. However, as the technology becomes more refined, the prices continue to become more affordable.