Robotic mining is revolutionizing the mining industry by introducing autonomous or remote-controlled robots to extract minerals or resources from mines. Equipped with sensors, cameras, and tools, these robots can navigate the mine, locate and extract resources, and transport them to a designated location. The use of robotics in mining encompasses drilling, haulage, underground rock cutting, and inspections. This innovation area is aligned with the three common goals of mining companies: safety, productivity, and sustainability.
The deployment of robotic technology enhances safety by removing humans from hazardous areas. It allows for remote operation and supervision of drilling rigs, eliminates the need for human drivers in haulage, enables underground tasks to be performed without human presence, and uses drones, land rovers, and underwater robots to inspect high walls and underwater regions.
In terms of productivity, robotic mining outperforms human labor in terms of precision, reliability, and endurance. Automated drills follow specified boring patterns and calculate the optimal amount of explosive to use, autonomous haulage trucks can operate continuously without breaks or staff changes, and underground mining can be performed without waiting for smoke to clear after detonations.
GlobalData’s analysis reveals that there are 70+ companies at the forefront of robotic mining innovation. These companies include technology vendors, established mining companies, and up-and-coming start-ups. Komatsu and Sandvik are among the leading patent filers in this field, with Komatsu focusing on autonomous mining systems and digitalization solutions, while Sandvik offers comprehensive automation platforms for mass mining applications.
In conclusion, robotic mining is a disruptive innovation that is significantly shaping the mining industry. It improves safety, productivity, and sustainability while offering new possibilities for mining operations. As key players continue to innovate and develop robotic mining technologies, the industry is set to witness further advancements in the years to come.
1. What is robotic mining?
Robotic mining refers to the use of autonomous or remote-controlled robots in the extraction of minerals or resources from mines.
2. How does robotic mining support safety in the mining industry?
Robotic mining improves safety by removing humans from hazardous areas, allowing for remote operation and supervision, and enabling inspections by drones and other robotic devices.
3. How does robotic mining enhance productivity?
Robotic technology is more precise, reliable, and enduring than human labor, resulting in improved productivity. Automated drills follow specified patterns, haulage trucks operate continuously, and underground mining can be performed without delays.
4. What are some key companies involved in robotic mining?
Komatsu, Sandvik, Tian Di Science & Technology, Caterpillar, and Built Robotics are some of the key companies at the forefront of robotic mining innovation.
5. What are the potential benefits of robotic mining?
Robotic mining offers benefits such as increased safety, improved productivity, and enhanced sustainability in the mining industry. It also opens up new possibilities for mining operations.