CEO and founder of Autonomous Solutions, Mel Torrie, has an ambitious goal to give back one billion dollars through various charitable activities striving to help others reach their fullest potential.

ASI Gives Back, the volunteer group responsible for ASI’s charitable initiatives, regularly organizes events in which its employees participate. Autonomous Solutions, Inc. is the corporate sponsor for the Wayne Julien Torrie Foundation, a nonprofit organization that manages fundraising activities in alignment with the ASI Gives Back group.

Recently, ASI Gives Back dreamed bigger and organized an event that gave volunteers the opportunity to make an impact for underprivileged children in Guatemala by providing things like LEGO robotics kits, tablets, musical instruments, efficient gardening systems and more.

A lot of work and contributions went into making these efforts possible. ASI Gives Back, along with the foundation, organized several events for employees and the community to donate to the cause. These fundraising events were highlighted by the first Robot Days 5K Fun Run, hosted at ASI’s 100-acre facility in northern Utah. Runners young and old were able to race a robot on ASI’s vehicle tracks, enjoy a pancake breakfast, play with LEGO robots, win prizes and more.

ASI Gives Back gardening stands

With preparations completed and funds raised, the ASI team traveled to Guatemala. It was made up of volunteer ASI employees and their families. They had an amazing experience and loved helping the people of Guatemala.

The goal was to help local elementary schools raise their educational capabilities through several projects focused on music, gardening, and technology. ASI Gives Back teamed up with theTango Foundation which provides medical services in impoverished areas and is familiar with some of the challenges these schools face. ASI Gives Back also worked with Pueblo a Pueblo, a local non-profit in Guatemala to help plan and organize these efforts.

One project involved building an efficient gardening system to increase the yield of their crops. Well before heading to Guatemala, the group designed and tested several innovative ways to grow crops. They found that a certain vertical growing structure performed the best and made the most sense. These growing systems will provide more food, leading to fewer malnourished children.

Another project done jointly with World Possible, another non-profit, provided access to educational websites for five schools in areas where the internet is not accessible. ASI supplied 50 tablets and five servers and installed a system called RACHEL, “a portable plug-and-play server which stores educational websites and makes that content available over any local (offline) wireless connection.” Then the tablets can be used by students in the classroom, as if they were on the internet, to enhance their education and open new opportunities.

Guatemalan school teachers using robots

The last focus was music. ASI brought keyboards and drum kits for the schools to teach music to their students. In addition, volunteers held music sessions to share the instruments and their rhythmic talents with the children.

Other projects included teaching entrepreneurial and QuickBooks trainings and providing resources for those interested in starting small businesses in the area, such as bee keeping. The group also helped tile the floor of one of the libraries and supplied bee keeping equipment and materials to build bee hives. They also teamed up with Days for Girls and gave more than 80 women and girls the tools they needed to improve their quality of life.

ASI volunteers made some great friends and lasting memories from this experience. One of the Guatemalan school teachers has a Youtube channel. Interested viewers can subscribe to his channel to see the impact these volunteers had on his school and students. ASI Gives Back would like to thank all of the individuals, companies and organizations that helped make this possible.

Follow ASI on Facebook to learn more about future ASI Gives Back activities.

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.

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) recently sponsored the Utah State University Coding Competition. The event was held in late February by the USU chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). Members of ASI's software development team supplied a problem designed to take a second-year computer science student about twenty minutes to solve.

"Thanks to the help [of our sponsors] we were able to hold the biggest coding competition USU has ever seen," said the USU-ACM team in a letter to sponsors.

More than 130 students in 62 teams participated in the competition, with submissions in six computer languages ranging from JavaScript to C++. ASI was one of eight local companies to submit a challenge question for students to complete.

ASI's problem centered on "The New Economic Reality," a documentary researching the economic impact of depopulation throughout the world. After beginning with a set of assumptions and inputs, participants went to work developing a software program that measures key indicators of population decline.

Winners received ASI branded items as prizes.

ASI's involvement in the competition highlights a continual effort to cultivate relationships with neighboring Utah State University and to give back to the community.

"We have great people working at ASI that have a desire to get involved, particularly supporting STEM education," said Dru Brown, ASI's Marketing Manager. "One of the great things coming from ASI's success is it puts us in a position to have a positive impact on the community."

ASI's recently convened "Give Back Committee" demonstrates the company's commitment to making a positive difference. The committee is charged with organizing company efforts in the community for STEM team sponsorships, scholarships, fund raising events, and more.

On May 1-2, more than 3,300 seventh grade students from all over northern Utah arrived at Bridgerland Applied Technology College in Logan, Utah for the 2013 Career Days. Career Days is an annual event designed to introduce middle school students to a variety of career paths available in technology and other trade fields and encourage them to start planning early for higher education. Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) joined with several other technology companies as exhibitors.

"We're always on the lookout for ways we can help our community," said Dru Brown, Marketing Manager at ASI. "Being invited to participate in Career Days was a great opportunity to encourage kids to get advanced education, and we also got to show them how fun technology can be."

Each participating company was encouraged to bring something interactive for students to try out.

ASI brought the Forecast® 3D Laser System, a spinning LIDAR that is normally used for the obstacle detection and avoidance system on autonomous vehicles.

For Career Days, however, Forecast was adapted to scan and generate a 3D map of the exhibit hall. Students enjoyed striking poses in front of Forecast and seeing themselves appear in the 3D output on a video monitor.

"It seems like every time we turn around, we're being reminded that the U.S. is falling behind the rest of the world in STEM education," said Brown.

"U.S. students seem to think that STEM courses are boring or too hard, and a lot of kids shy away from them. But events like this let us show kids the possibilities with this type of education. Hopefully we're getting their imaginations going and getting them excited about engineering."