The rise of robotics in mining


Mining has entered a robotics boom as developers are taking huge strides in AI, drone use, and technology for data capture and analysis that will improve safety and better manage mines, says Andrew Scott, executive chairman of Queensland Robotics.

Speaking at the IMDEX Xploration Technology Symposium, he highlighted that due to the development of autonomous haulage and drilling technology, the mining industry has been through a “trough of disillusionment” around robotics and was moving towards the “plateau of productivity”. 
The two-day online conference featured individuals who are at the front of changing the mining and exploration industries in order to have dialogue regarding new technologies, tools as well as advanced analytics. 
Scott said the adoption of emerging technology was helped by the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some digital transformation projects expected to be developed in three months for the next three to five years.
“COVID is a significant accelerator and robotics is no exception,” he said.
There was capital available which funded new and emerging projects. This was a clear indicator of a boom in robotics which he added would lead to more jobs. 

“There’s a lot of work that’s underway right now to really bring to the forefront a lot of automation and robotics to deal with enhanced data capture and execution of exploration programs and also within the mining environment,” he said in an interview ahead of the symposium.

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