first_imgThe Minerals Down Under Flagship is developing a new generation of cost-effective and often remotely controlled mining technologies to help convert currently sub-economic resources into reserves. The technologies will improve the profitability, productivity and safety of mining operations and expand the mining technology services sector in Australia. Automation will be covered in detail in International Mining’s 2012 issue – contact The Editor [email protected] if you want to contribute.Mining operators are facing significant changes in their workplace, as the industry moves from human-intensive operation to more tele-operated and automated methods. CSIRO’s ReMoTe (Remote Mobile Tele Assistance) technology will ease the transition by connecting remote experts with onsite operators to provide real time assistance to any problems that may arise.Dr Leila Alem, who is leading the research through CSIRO’s Minerals Down Under Flagship says there is a growing need for technology that supports collaboration between onsite mining operators and offsite experts. “In the mining industry when a sophisticated machine is not operational, onsite maintenance technicians require urgent input from a remote specialist. Time lost through the machine not being used, translates to loss of productivity.”The ReMoTe technology is hands free, wearable, and is operational in various environmental conditions. It has been designed for ease of use, so mining operators can operate it without any training or any a prior skill.The system is composed of a helper station and an operator station, both of which use a wearable computer, a camera mounted on helmet and a near-eye display.“The video provides a shared visual space between the helper and the operator. The helper uses it for pointing at objects and showing how to perform actions,” Alem says. His team has developed international research collaborations to progress their R&D effort, including collaborating with Scuella Superior Sant’Anna in Italy through the Minerals Down Under Flagship collaboration fund.“We use our unique blend of expertise in immersive environment, remote collaboration technology, augmented reality, user interface and user experience to develop and evaluate technologies that have the potential to change the way that mines are operated remotely. We are in the process of integrating our ReMoTe technology with a panoramic display system for remote operation, developed at the Virtual Mining Centre at CSIRO in Brisbane.“We hope that the result of this integration will be an effective remote operation and remote assistance system that will make mines more efficient and safer and build the skills of onsite operators.”last_img

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