As automation becomes more prevalent across industries, people are encountering new words and terminology that are associated with the growing technology. Operators at mining companies making their foray into autonomy have no doubt come across the terms “spot assist” and “auto spot.”

While the two may sound similar, each term has its own specific definition which must be understood for operations hoping to make the most out of cutting-edge autonomous solutions.

Spot assist is a manned solution that communicates to the haul truck operator via a tablet. It assists the human driver by audibly and visually signaling where to back up to a shovel for loading. This can improve productivity and safety in potentially dangerous mining scenarios where a wrong move could prove costly.

Auto spot takes spot assist to the next level by removing the driver’s need to manually control the vehicle while in the load zone. Much like cruse control solutions in automobiles, auto spot turns control of the haul truck over to the robotic system.

As a driverless technology, auto spot performs the necessary truck operations with the ability to navigate to a precise spot point and avoid any contact with surrounding vehicles, infrastructure, or obstacles.

It’s important to understand the difference between spot assist and auto spot features before making an investment in autonomous technology. Spot assist is great as a first step into autonomy, giving users familiarity with the capabilities of intelligent software and hardware, while keeping vehicular control in the hands of humans.

ASI’s Mobius platform has been specifically developed to allow scaling up from solutions like Spot Assist to Auto Spot when it makes sense for the operation.

While other firms may offer auto spot capabilities, their system may not offer scaling, meaning the initial investment would have to be scrapped and rebuilt from the ground up in order to progress to a more autonomous solution. Not so with Mobius.

To discover more about the versatile Mobius platform and ASI’s rich autonomous solutions, visit us at www.asirobots.com/mining today!

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) and CNH Industrial have announced the unveiling of concept autonomous tractors. ASI is CNH Industrial’s technology provider responsible for developing autonomous vehicle technology for a concept cabless Case IH Magnum and a concept New Holland T8, based on a current production tractor.

The tractors, unveiled today at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, include the ability for autonomous seeding, planting and tillage, for broad acre and row crop farming. Advanced path planning technology will allow farmers to manage their fields efficiently and oversee the overall operation of several vehicles at once. The vehicles are also capable of obstacle detection which will enhance safety in the agriculture industry.

“ASI is the industry-leading developer of autonomous solutions in the off-road vehicle segment"

“ASI is the industry-leading developer of autonomous solutions in the off-road vehicle segment and the natural choice to be one of CNH Industrial’s key technology providers. CNH Industrial has had a long and successful relationship with ASI and we will continue to work together in developing advanced autonomous solutions for the future benefit of our global customers” stated Richard Tobin, CEO of CNH Industrial.

This new technology gives farmers the ability to operate their tractor as both a manned or unmanned vehicle.

At a farmer's command, autonomous tractors can drive from a parking area along private roads to a field and begin work without any intervention.

ASI has nearly two decades of autonomous technology development experience. As a smaller and more agile technology developer, ASI is able to partner with large global companies to help them disrupt their market with multi-vehicle autonomy faster and more economically than they could in any other way.

“Our relationship with CNH Industrial is vital in facilitating the near term disruption of how farming is done. We’re thrilled to be working with the leaders in Ag innovation to make this exciting future of driverless tractors a reality,” says Mel Torrie, ASI founder and CEO. “CNH Industrial’s selection of ASI as a long term, strategic robotic development provider validates the capability and flexibility of our robotics platform in reducing the risk and costs for equipment manufacturers to bring advanced capabilities to their respective industries.”

“Our relationship with CNH Industrial is vital in facilitating the near term disruption of how farming is done."

ASI and CNH Industrial have joined forces to create a development model and architecture framework that is flexible and dynamic, able to quickly adapt and adopt new technologies and standards as fast as they become available. This concept tractor results from the integration of ASI’s autonomous hardware and software with CNH Industrial’s advanced platform.

ASI also leverages this autonomous technology with other large global companies such as FCA US, Ford, Toyota, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Dematic, and a large global security company and others to be announced in coming weeks.

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About Autonomous Solutions, Inc.

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) designs and manufactures unmanned vehicle systems, software, and components that are OEM agnostic. ASI’s robotic kits and command and control software can be leveraged in a variety of industries including agriculture, automotive, mining, military, security, and industrial applications. ASI’s vehicle automation kits are OEM independent and have been used for many different applications. Clients have experienced enhanced safety, increased efficiency, and improved accuracy.

For over 16 years, ASI has been a leader in vehicle automation. ASI has a strong software team which makes up over half of its engineering work force. ASI’s Mobius software allows for command and control of a fleet of vehicles in addition to ease of use, industry specific task planning, and vehicle diagnostics. ASI has extensive experience automating vehicles of all shapes and sizes with an emphasis on systems integration, obstacle detection and avoidance, tele-operation, and fully autonomous controls.

About CNH Industrial N.V.

CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI /MI: CNHI) is a global leader in the capital goods sector with established industrial experience, a wide range of products and a worldwide presence. Each of the individual brands belonging to the Company is a major international force in its specific industrial sector: Case IH, New Holland Agriculture and Steyr for tractors and agricultural machinery; Case and New Holland Construction for earth moving equipment; Iveco for commercial vehicles; Iveco Bus and Heuliez Bus for buses and coaches; Iveco Astra for quarry and construction vehicles; Magirus for firefighting vehicles; Iveco Defence Vehicles for defence and civil protection; and FPT Industrial for engines and transmissions. More information can be found on the corporate website: www.cnhindustrial.com

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Corporate Communications Manager

The 2016 Robotics Business Review logo

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) has been elected to Robotics Business Review (RBR) fifth annual RBR50 list for the second straight year. ASI has been recognized as one of the most noteworthy companies in the global robotics industry for 2016 alongside robotic giants like Google, FANUC, and Foxconn.

RBR50 companies are recognized based on their innovation, groundbreaking applications, commercial success and potential, and represent many different levels and facets of the robotics ecosystem.

“We are thrilled to be elected to the RBR50 for a second year in a row. After 15 years in business the technology readiness and customer demand are finally converging for what looks to be an exponential adoption curve,” says Mel Torrie, ASI founder and CEO. “We have seen more demand in the last 18 months than we’ve seen in the previous 15 years and we’re fortunate to have assembled the needed productization team to complement our research capability. We could not have accomplished this organic growth without patient and forward looking early adopter partners and we are thankful for their support.”

ASI’s hardware and software robotic building blocks are used in productizing driverless ground vehicle systems for applications like mining, agriculture, cleaning, security, and automotive. Customers are starting to realize the benefits of this technology including higher safety, dramatically lower maintenance costs, and maximum productivity. Thanks to the downward trend of sensor and processor costs the return on investment is getting higher and faster.

ASI has a very busy 2016 ahead of it according to Jared Pratt, Vice President of Business Development. Pratt says the interest for this kind of technology is only growing. “There is so much opportunity right in front of us in some of our larger industries that we could see the need for doubling our staff of 100 plus just to keep up.”

“There is so much opportunity right in front of us in some of our larger industries that we could see the need for doubling our staff of 100 plus just to keep up.”

With the robotics industry becoming more competitive than ever, new innovations, technologies, and companies are emerging faster than ever. The RBR50 list outlines those companies who should be kept on your business radar.

This international compilation spans 11 countries and in addition to the large conglomerates, 23% of the list is comprised of lesser-known startups. The RBR50 list is dynamic, with robotics companies entering and leaving on an annual basis and thus creating a list that is indicative of where the global robotics industry as a whole is headed. “The World Economic Forum cites 2016 as the launch of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and has tabbed robotics as the lead player in that transformation. Each of the RBR50 for 2016 should be duly proud that the robotics community has selected them to lead this charge,” said Tom Green, RBR Editor in Chief.

About Autonomous Solutions, Inc.

For more than 15 years, ASI has been a world leader in unmanned ground vehicle solutions. From our northern Utah headquarters, ASI serves clients around the world in the mining, agriculture, automotive, military, and manufacturing industries with remote control, teleoperated, and fully automated, coordinated multi-vehicle solutions. ASI's universal, OEM-independent technology allows organizations to improve productivity, enhance safety, reduce costs, and increase accuracy. For more information visit www.asirobots.com.

About Robotics Business Review

Robotics Business Review provides business intelligence for the global robotics industry. Members enjoy excusive insights into global news, tracking of financial transactions, analysis of new technologies and companies, annual and quarterly research reports, access to the RBR50 Top 50 Companies list and much more. Visit RoboticsBusinessReview.com.

The Robo Universe Logo

ASI was recently a participant and sponsor of the RoboUniverse robotics conference in San Diego, California. Autonomous Solutions, Inc.’s (ASI) CEO, Mel Torrie, was a keynote speaker and a panel member sharing insights into the robotics world. Mr. Torrie discussed many of the successes and advancements that ASI has made in the robotics industry in autonomy. He also presented about many of the challenges facing the industry and some of the paths ASI is heading down.

"We’re going to get to a place where our #trees have #wearable technology like our bodies," says @RobotCEO.

As sensor technologies continue to develop, the cost of these sensors will decrease making them more and more cost efficient and more applicable. These sensors could be placed on trees, vines, or in the ground in areas to measure all kinds of important environmental information. This information could be monitored and relayed to an autonomous vehicle that would be tasked to perform a specific action for that specific area.

"Scalability will be limited by serviceability - service and support is critical." @RobotCEO

For autonomous vehicles to really move into many various facets of everyday life, scalability will be limited by serviceability. Diagnostics must be reliable and quick to identify any potential issues a system may encounter - then be able to get someone on it quickly to correct the problem.

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Photos © 2015 RoboUniverse Staff

Moving up 26 spots from 2014, Logan, Utah, placed ninth overall in the Milken Institute's Best-Performing Cities index for 2015. Excellent job growth and a collection of diverse technology companies contributed to Logan's significant leap in the small city division, the study said.

Key to Logan's performance is an abundance of cutting-edge technology firms like Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI). Located a scenic twenty minutes from downtown Logan, ASI develops, tests, and deploys robotic vehicle hardware and software for a number of industries ranging from mining to industrial cleaning.

"Job growth [in the Logan metro area] outperformed the national average and ranked in the upper echelon in both the one-year and five-year periods ending in 2014," the study read. Sparked by an increased global focus on automation and productivity, particularly in the mining industry, ASI's growth mirrors Logan's trend having grown from 28 employees in 2011 to nearly 120 employees today.

"Technology readiness and customer demand are finally converging for what looks to be an exponential adoption curve," said ASI's President and CEO, Mel Torrie, in a press release announcing ASI's spot on this year's Inc. 5000 list. ASI was awarded the No. 19 spot in the engineering category and No. 1716 overall.
"We've seen more demand in the last 18 months than we've seen in the previous 15 years."

"We know we operate in a very positive environment in the Logan area," said Jared Pratt, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at ASI. "Along with developing technology at a high level, we also go above and beyond to effectively support the local families of our employees and give back to the community. We take a lot of pride in who we are and what we do here at ASI, and that's only going to lead to continued growth for our company and the community."

ASI's bell-crank pedal actuation in a robotic ford durability vehicle

“Replacing the human element with a robotic system means fewer lost man hours to illness and fatigue as well as better, more cost-effective long-term vehicle testing. The tests, which can put 10 or more years of simulated real-world use on a vehicle in just a few months, are a critical part of the product development cycle and the continued improvements that car manufacturers make to their product lines.”


Check out the full article featuring ASI’s autonomous technology

The interior of a robotically controlled ford vehicle

How does Ford ensure their vehicles are “Ford Tough?” Part of it is done with ASI’s technology. Ford uses ASI’s vehicle automation kit to perform durability and misuse testing at their proving grounds in Michigan.

Every new vehicle made by any manufacturer is put through rigorous testing that equates to years of use. Some of this testing can put drivers in hazardous driving conditions - imagine driving down a pothole-filled road at 40 mph or worse for hours on end. Due to these conditions, autonomously controlled vehicles can maintain better test results and eliminate the risk of injury while putting more hours and miles on at a much quicker rate.

Check out WIRED’s article with Ford about ASI’s vehicle automation kit