High Access Localised Operations (HALO)

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Industry partner

Ausdrill

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Research organisation

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

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Manufacturing investment

$466,547
($74,945 IMCRC)
for 2021-22

Making rock scaling safer

Challenge

Walls of open pit and underground mines are regularly scaled to remove loose or unstable rock preventing rock falls and mine roof from collapsing. Traditionally, this work has been done by specialised teams who abseil along a rock surface to clear away loose rock. Being extremely dangerous and physically demanding manual labour, Ausdrill seeks to develop a robotic systems that performs those hazardous task and thus makes rock scaling operations safer.

Proposed Solution

Ausdrill has partnered with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to improve the efficiency and safety of traditional rock scaling operations by utilising robotic and virtual reality (VR) technologies.

Advancing a scale prototype that was collaboratively designed and built by Ausdrill and UTS in early 2020, the project aims to deliver a robotic system, with high-level autonomous remote teleoperation, that can be used for rock scaling a range of mining environments. The immersive and intuitive nature of VR will facilitate necessary human interaction, for visualising and examining the proposed system’s sensor data, as well as providing an interface for control and decisions.

The project’s manufacturing outcome will be the realisation of the developed prototype, its control schemes, and on-site proof-of-concept testing in a facility and then on a hard-rock goldmine wall.