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  • Komatsu will offer a sneak peek of its remote-controlled hydraulic excavator at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas, operating its PC7000-11 from over 600 kilometres away.

The excavator will be on-site at Komatsu’s proving grounds near Tucson, Arizona, while the operator uses an Immersive Technologies console to demonstrate all the information and 360-degree visibility on show from MINExpo.

While the 676-tonne-class excavator still must undergo customer site trials in 2022, Komatsu will allow MINExpo attendees a peak behind the curtain into the potential mines of the future.

In conjunction with Komatsu’s Autonomous Haulage System (AHS), the PC7000-11 can be teleoperated semi-automatically, reducing cycle times and alleviating operator fatigue.

Using an array of cameras attached to the excavator, the operator has a complete view of the machine’s surrounds, plus a range of diagnostic information available to view while the machine does the work.

These functions have been made possible by the machine’s onboard sensors and the technologies of Modular Mining and Immersive Technologies – both leaders in the field of mining equipment solutions.

After completing a job, a range of operational analysis is made available to the operator to improve excavation processes. This can be used for online, real-time coaching and offline coaching.

Komatsu’s MINExpo exhibit will cover 4460 square metres with a focus on ‘creating value together’.

The exhibit will also showcase a range of equipment including wheel loaders, blasthole drills and a battery hauler.

“Supporting our customers’ path forward with new solutions that leverage digitalisation, electrification and automation is crucial to our role as an essential provider to the industry, and we look forward to sharing these innovations developed in partnership with today’s mines,” Komatsu Mining Corporation president and chief executive officer Jeff Dawes said.