Earlier this season we had the opportunity to speak with Rheinmetall Canada and its subsidiary Provectus Robotics Solutions Inc. about the various possible applications for autonomous vehicles in the mining sector. Specializing in engineering and systems integration for military vehicles among other things they demonstrated the effectiveness of their product in the field.
The autonomous vehicle moves without any driver or operator. During their visit to our Val-d’Or office, Jason Scheib from Provectus Robotics Solutions was able to demonstrate the capabilities of this technology. We explored the follow-me mode and the record and mission playback modes.
The follow-me mode allows the vehicle to follow a worker or another vehicle moving ahead. It adapts its speed and calculates distances so as not to hit any obstacles encountered.
The mission playback mode allows users to program the vehicle’s path so that it completes the recorded route autonomously. The vehicle can complete very long routes and repeat them in a loop. It is also possible to work with a command that the vehicle has already pre-recorded, such as “return to base”. The Advanced Robotic Intelligence System (ARIS) can be adapted to just about any vehicle and operates autonomously both underground and above ground.
“Thanks to the robust and high-performance telecommunications infrastructure that is now being deployed in underground mines, the implementation of such vehicles is very realistic. We believe that mining companies could benefit from this technology on several levels, both for production and worker safety. »
– Kim Valade, Executive Director of Meglab
If the Rheinmetall Mission Master vehicle is already used by the armed forces to transport soldiers and/or equipment, the technology could be installed on other types of vehicles that could meet the needs of the mining industry. There is already evidence that the implementation of autonomous vehicles in mines improves worker safety while increasing production efficiency.
“We contacted Meglab to explore the potential of our technology in underground mines. Since they are well versed in mining telecommunications and act as technology integrators, we believe they would be good partners in developing autonomous mining vehicles. »
– Jason Scheib, Director, Business Development, Provectus Robotics Solutions Inc.
This project reinforces the use of artificial intelligence for the benefit of the mining industry. Rheinmetall Canada and Provectus Robotics Solutions have unique knowledge in the integration of autonomous unmanned ground vehicles for many applications in several different industries. We believe that these skills, combined with our expertise in the mining sector, could lead to the marketing of highly safe mining vehicles with impeccable reliability.