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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.






As humans venture further into the waters of autonomy, there are natural concerns regarding how we will interact with advanced robotics and artificial intelligences when occupying the same physical space. Autonomous machines aren’t designed to completely remove the human element from an operation, but rather to reposition or reassign people to areas where they are more useful and less likely to encounter danger. Still, situations will inevitably arise in which operations require both unmanned and manned vehicles in a mixed fleet. In these potentially hazardous environments, maintaining human safety is of paramount importance.



ASI and Remote Tracking Systems, Inc.

To provide optimal supervision of both manned and unmanned assets in a mixed fleet environment, ASI integrated a powerful tracking system designed by Remote Tracking Systems Inc. (RTS) to maximize safety within this space. The optional feature works in concert with ASI’s Mobius command and control software, which provides users with unparalleled supervision of unmanned vehicles. We’ve leveraged technology from RTS, a leading provider of Asset Tracking Solutions, and incorporated their precise real-time tracking innovations into the Mobius platform. The result is a high-performance and cost-effective system for mixed fleet management.

How Does It Work?
Machine and human interactions are made safe and easy with Mobius’ new tracking feature, which allows autonomous vehicles to continue functioning when otherwise, safety parameters would dictate a shut-down so a human could enter an area. The human need only carry a portable radio/GPS-monitored tracking device on his person, or place the device in his vehicle to signal that he has the right of way. Unmanned vehicles will always yield to the manned asset, ensuring human safety. Alternatively, users can set Mobius to automatically pause or completely stop unmanned vehicle activity when in a given proximity of a human or manned asset. The machines will always know the exact location of the manned vehicle or person and make the proper adjustments in the interest of safety.

A Superior Mixed Fleet
ASI has worked in close partnership with RTS to bring the industry’s most advanced tracking technology into the autonomous space, enabling superior mixed fleet operations. This technology is easily deployed to any industry in which ASI operates, with applications in mining, automotive proving grounds, agriculture, construction, and military ecosystems. Now humans can take part in unmanned environments without interfering with operations or posing a risk to safety. To learn more about this groundbreaking innovation, visit our platforms page






There’s a large soy farm out in the middle of Kansas whose owner often laughs when anyone suggests that soon he’ll be able to control an entire fleet of self-driving vehicles to do the work for him. In his mind, a vehicle will always require a driver when it comes to working the land.

He says the fields are constantly changing and there are always new obstacles. He thinks a vehicle must be manually controlled to account for the day-to-day changes to complete the job.

This is one of the central issues facing the developers of autonomous vehicles. Environments from industrial farms to mining have always presented a challenge due to the constantly changing surface on which the vehicles operate. How do you create self-driving vehicles that can account for surprise obstacles, changing landscapes, and unpredictable weather?

Rather than settling for semi-autonomous vehicles, which would require human intervention to fine tune the machines for the days exact specifications, ASI’s Research and Development team found a solution. The answer, thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), is known as World Modeling.

World Modeling allows a fleet of vehicles to interact with each other in real time to create a clear and precise view of the terrain on which they operate. Through machine learning, which is the capability of machines to adjust their decision based off past experience, ASI has been able to design and implement AI algorithms that build a picture of the world through the sensors built into the autonomous vehicles.

This model is simultaneously created and shared by the entire fleet, as well as stored in a database so that it can be accessed at any time. The task of getting from one point to another suddenly becomes a whole lot simpler when the vehicle can automatically fine tune itself for the day’s specific conditions and obstacles. This detail-oriented approach results in not only a more efficient work site, but one that is far safer for both the vehicles and the workers themselves.



Through their innovative use of AI and machine learning, ASI has made itself a world leader in vehicle automation. With their algorithms designed to give vehicles and fleets abilities like world modeling, they are allowing key industries like mining and agriculture to become not only more productive than ever, but safer as well. You can learn more about how ASI is furthering AI and machine learning by visiting our research page.






The invention of the tractor in the 19th century unquestionably revolutionized farming. And it wasn’t long before these engine powered vehicles totally replaced animal drawn machines, completely modernizing the entire agriculture industry for centuries to come.

But now, autonomous technology is proving to be a game-changer for the 21st century farmer. Tractors integrated with artificial intelligence and smart hardware are facilitating more efficient, less labor-intensive farming, and totally transforming agriculture processes once again.

A year ago, ASI and CNH Industrial unveiled the autonomous tractor concept, the cabless Case IH Magnum series tractor. This autonomous vehicle has travelled to agriculture trade shows and events around the world, boastfully displaying its cutting-edge technology and assorted features.

ASI, a leader in autonomous technology, is working with CNH Industrial to perfect their autonomous technology which is projected to increase accuracy, improve management of resources, and save on fuel and labor costs. And with continuous innovation and testing, this technology continues to mature and progress for application in the agriculture industry.

In early 2017 AccuGuide for Case IH made its debut. Developed by ASI and CNH Industrial’s Innovation Group, AccuGuide is an automated steering system that utilizes advanced technology to plan end of row turns in the headlands of a field. This technology made an appearance last month at AgQuip 2017 in Australia and the Farm Progress show in Iowa, where it’s host of impressive features turned many heads.

This state of the art system displayed its extraordinary capabilities of achieving year-to-year repeatable accuracy from sub-inch levels and beyond; reducing skips and overlaps; and promoting better seed, fertilizer, and chemical inputs management. With AccuGuide, operations become simplified, and hours can be added to the day during critical operating windows.

CNH Industrial and ASI are also collaborating on New Holland Agriculture’s conceptual, New Holland Drive, a driverless tractor concept engineered to perform a wide range of farming tasks. This unmanned vehicle can be remotely monitored, commanded and controlled via a desktop computer or portable tablet interface, giving a single individual the ability to manage one or more tractors with remarkable precision and reliability.



A path-plotting screen reveals the tractor’s progress while another shows a live camera feed, providing the user with multiple, real-time views. And because the New Holland Drive tractor is able to work 24/7, it can achieve superior levels of productivity compared to conventional methods, all while reducing the risks associated with human error.

Autonomous technology is dramatically upending the agriculture industry, boosting operational efficiencies and increasing harvests, all while driving down prices.

ASI is excited to be working with CNH Industrial to pioneer autonomous tractor technology and the mechanization of agricultural tasks, making farm work smarter. To learn more about the future of farming, watch our videos featuring the autonomous tractor at asirobots.com/farming today.






While autonomous vehicles are gaining usage across numerous industries, the concept of self-navigation raises many questions, and rightfully so. With no human in direct control of the vehicle to navigate where to go, how to get there, or make real-time decisions along the way, how do autonomous vehicles actually determine their paths?

Accurate and reliable detection of obstacles is paramount to collision avoidance, but can be quite challenging as obstructions tend to vary in size and geometry. Some objects, such as dust, can cause a false-positive or false-negative reaction, when in reality, there is no impending collision.

ASI’s advanced Path Planning and Control makes it all possible. By utilizing state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), ASI has developed precision control algorithms that enable autonomous vehicles to accomplish their tasks safely and efficiently.

 

Path Planning and Control
The basic framework of Path Planning and Control starts with programming an objective for the autonomous vehicle to achieve. To accomplish this task, the machine must choose a path and adjust to obstacles, terrain, and changing conditions in order to reach its destination safely.

By utilizing a primarily LiDAR-based perception system, a cost surface is created as an input to a nonlinear optimization solver. The current vehicle state, desired vehicle state, perceived-cost surface, vehicle dynamics, and vehicle kinematics are vital inputs the solver uses to generate feasible path options for the vehicle.

 

Autonomous Navigation
ASI’s AI algorithms are then used to facilitate safe and reliable navigation of unknown or dangerous terrain to arrive at the desired location. With this terrain model, the vehicle is able to predict future behaviors for hazard avoidance and optimal trajectory selection.



World Modeling
Exteroceptive sensors on the vehicle collect data from the surroundings, which are processed by the AI algorithm for sensor fusion to build a highly accurate model of the environment. This model can be accessed and updated by any autonomous vehicle entering the area.

Leader Follower Operation
Another feature of ASI’s autonomous vehicles is the ability to follow the leader. Whether the leader be a manned vehicle, unmanned vehicle, or even a person on foot, this ASI algorithm enables autonomous vehicles to follow the defined leader while still maintaining their individual collision avoidance and terrain navigation features.

Machine Learning
ASI’s machine learning is another important part of their autonomous vehicle solutions. Here are some of the ML capabilities:

 

  • Auto Tuning – By monitoring and comparing actual and desired behaviors, parameters are automatically adjusted for continuous improvement.
  • Obstacle Identification and Classification – ASI researchers are improving world modeling and object learning that will then be shared between vehicles for collaborative and improved behaviors.
  • Convoy Operations – ASI is also developing convoy technology that will increase the efficiency of vehicle groups through unknown and harsh terrain.

Leader Follower Operation
Another feature of ASI’s autonomous vehicles is the ability to follow the leader. Whether the leader be a manned vehicle, unmanned vehicle, or even a person on foot, this ASI algorithm enables autonomous vehicles to follow the defined leader while still maintaining their individual collision avoidance and terrain navigation features.

Path Planning and Control are essential features for vehicle automation made possible by ASI’s innovative AI and ML technology. As the world leader in vendor independent vehicle automation systems, Autonomous Solutions, Inc. delivers automation solutions to the mining, agriculture, automotive, government, and manufacturing industries with unrivaled performance.

Learn more about our advanced autonomous vehicle solutions today!






Autonomous vehicles are being utilized across numerous industries resulting in dramatic increases in business performance. To operate safely and successfully, these autonomous vehicles must navigate their surroundings without incident. As such, collision avoidance is one of the largest areas of concern when it comes to the implementation of autonomous vehicles.

Accurate and reliable detection of obstacles is paramount to collision avoidance, but can be quite challenging as obstructions tend to vary in size and geometry. Some objects, such as dust, can cause a false-positive or false-negative reaction, when in reality, there is no impending collision.

The problem of obstacle detection can be reduced to a two-state Markov model, which is a model used for randomly changing systems based on stochastic calculus. The transition between these two states, obstacle or non-obstacle, is then governed by a Bayesian inference which takes into account past probability, current measurements, and sensor characteristics. Thus, the most comprehensive way to correctly understand the real obstacles autonomous vehicles encounter is by applying sensor fusion.



By “fusing” LiDAR and Radar measurements into a complete occupancy grid, along with advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), ASI’s Obstacle Detection Sensor Fusion application optimizes obstacle detection for increased collision avoidance. Through the implementation of predictive analytics which account for prior inputs of cell occupancy probability, a labeled 3D point-cloud from the LiDAR unit, the detected objects by the radar, and the associated radar field of view, ASI’s algorithm builds a complete grid system that identifies, classifies, and circumvents obstacles.

The value in each grid cell is computed using the measurements that are classified as either obstacle or non-obstacle. Then, based on adjustments to both true-positive and true-negative rates, the AI algorithm is tuned for each sensor by using the associated confidence level. This method has been show to enhance collision avoidance.

ASI’s Obstacle Detection Sensor Fusion enables autonomous vehicles to traverse unknown terrain and dangerous obstacles to arrive at a desired endpoint safely. The advanced AI and ML algorithm creates an accurate model of the world, identifies and classifies obstacles and non-obstacles, then stores this information in a database which can be accessed by any autonomous vehicle that enters that region, thereby allowing for continuous updating and learning. Teaching a vehicle to learn is just the beginning — ASI’s research and development team is taking this technology further by enabling autonomous vehicles to share information for a collaborative improvement in vehicle behavior.

Learn more about ASI’s collision detection at work in the mining industry and current areas of research.






Elements of driverless technology are being inserted into every industry and sector, from consumer vehicles to commercial transportation to mining fleets.

The military is also actively pursuing ways in which ground vehicle operations can be made safer and more efficient with the integration of autonomous solutions. One way in which this is possible is by transforming manned convoys into unmanned operations.

A Smarter Convoy

The military relies on convoys to move people and supplies, typically along vast and sometimes treacherous terrain. Obstacles, enemy combatants, even inclement weather can pose challenges that might stand in the way of a successful convoy deployment. However, artificial intelligence and advanced robotics allow convoys to create improved, safer, and more reliable paths.

ASI’s Autonomous Convoy System (ACS) uses innovative technology that enables convoy vehicles to communicat with one another, relaying information about obstacles, terrain or other unsafe conditions. While numerous technology companies have made investments in autonomous convoy development for military applications, The United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) turned to ASI to help advance current autonomous convoy technology.

Our research group has engineered breakthroughs for lateral stability control improvements. This allows leading vehicles to pass information back to followers, which the following vehicles use to improve their path following. We’ve also made advancements in sequential stability, multiple vehicle convoy, and world modeling, as convoys often encounter unmapped territories.



Autonomous Advantages

ACS from ASI allows convoys to chart the smartest path to a destination. Autonomous Ground Resupply (AGR) provides another solution for generating better efficiencies. With AGR, troops can go out into the field with autonomous supply vehicles following them. When supplies diminish, the vehicles can return to base and retrieve more of what the field troops need. This saves time and costs, not having to transport human personnel back and forth across possibly dangerous supply lines, allowing them to continue executing their mission.

The advantages ACS yield for military applications can also be transferred to other industries. Convoys of unmanned vehicles can be useful for farming, shipping, and industrial organizations, reducing costs, decreasing personnel, and saving time by using smarter paths. To learn more about ACS and how ASI technology platforms are automating vehicle transportation, visit us at asirobots.com/platforms.






ASI is working on things that no one else is doing today—taking existing vehicles and converting them to autonomous. We can use the same basic kit on a lot of different vehicles: mining equipment, agriculture vehicles, and everything in between.

This makes it possible to reduce driver exposure to hazardous conditions. After all, a robot can’t get a back or neck injury.

The Mobius technology has been developed over the last 17 years to optimize systems, so an operation can get lots of vehicles working together. One person can control 50 vehicles, and the Mobius technology keeps them from hitting each other and enables them to run constantly for 24 hours.

Projects that were never financially viable now become a possibility under an autonomous operation. The ASI system can also interface with vehicles that are not autonomous, which gives operators the ability to work in a mixed traffic environment.

Putting the robot in a vehicle opens the door for many industries to be more innovative and a lot safer. If you can dream it, there are people at ASI who can do it. To see the game-changing capability of ASI’s solutions in action, enjoy the video.








SALT LAKE CITY, JULY 13, 2017 – Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) has been awarded additional funding through the Department of Defense (DoD) to further apply machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the mobility and behavior of autonomous vehicles in challenging environments.

Two other ongoing programs with the government include the development of machine learning for obstacle classification, LIDAR-camera fusion, and vehicle auto tuning using artificial intelligence. The developments will enable ASI’s autonomous ground vehicles to adapt in real time to difficult dynamic environments for automotive, agriculture, mining, construction, floor cleaning, security surveillance, and lawn mowing robots.

In order for us to maintain our leadership in the unmanned vehicle space we must continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with machine learning and artificial intelligence,” says CEO and founder of ASI, Mel Torrie. “These programs will ensure that we continue to offer our customers and partners the most advanced safe and simple autonomous solutions.”



The ability for vehicles to learn from past experience and continuously improve as they drive is important. These benefits multiply as the robots share their learning with other vehicles in the area in real time. The use of Machine Learning and AI will enable huge strides in efficiency improvement and maintenance reduction,” says Dr. Jeff Ferrin, Research and Development General Manager.

Mel Torrie will be sharing more about this exciting technology development at the Silicon Valley Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference in Beijing China on 15 July 2017 and at the Silicon Valley-China AI & Investment Forum on 19 July 2017 in Santa Clara, California in an AI session alongside leading pioneers in this space from companies like Tesla, IBM, Facebook, and Samsung.