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Sandvik has showcased Automine Concept, a future vision for fully autonomous mining vehicles that use new sensing capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI) for real-time reactions to their environment.

Attendees at Sandvik’s Innovation in Mining Virtual Event were among the first in the world to see AutoMine Concept in action yesterday (September 29).

Event delegates saw the vehicle powered by AutoMine Concept shaping its own path, unloading buckets and even detecting and dodging pedestrians, coming to a complete halt without harming the worker or the equipment.

Sandvik’s AutoMine Concept allows vehicles to adapt and plan their own routes find the most suitable paths in constantly changing environments by using obstacle detection, collision avoidance and 3D online mapping.

It also features has a completely new cabinless design, which boasts built-in components for high reliability and productivity.

This allows for equipment designed specifically for production tasks in the underground environment, such as smaller rear wheels for a lower overall vehicle frame.

“The AutoMine Concept is unique because it has been designed ground-up for autonomous use,” Sandvik vice president, automation Riku Pulli said. “It is the world’s first fully autonomous underground mining machine built specifically for automation.

“This technology raises ease-of-use, effectiveness of asset utilisation and adaptability to a new level, resulting in higher productivity.

“These technologies will truly change the face and pace of autonomous mining.”

Sandvik described the AutoMine Concept as a “game-changing” platform, as it can be applied to any vehicle and various equipment types.

Being fully battery-electric, Sandvik is leading the way for sustainable, carbon emission-free mining with the new technologies of the AutoMine Concept.