What’s got 28,000 tonnes on board, travels 280 kilometres and doesn’t have a driver? Answer: Rio Tinto’s Autohaul in the Pilbara. A couple of weeks ago it made the first delivery of iron ore by an autonomous train.
Reported in Australian Mining magazine, the Autohaul Autonomous Train Project is on track for completion by the end of the year. Obviously, there are many stringent safety requirements to satisfy before it can be fully operational.
When the project does become fully operational it will record 8 million kilometres of train travel each year. View the full article here.
Robotics will transform almost every industry but especially the mining sector. Robotics can not only provide greater efficiencies and increase production it can also help reduce the risk factors inherent in traditional mining operations – addressing key safety concerns.
Not only that, but robots will allow miners to access and explore areas that have been off limits until recently, such as under the seas and outer space. Below is a short You Tube clip showing the development of a robot designed by NASA to mine on the moon….space is definitely the next mining frontier and it will be robots that will enable this….