Our uGPS project research and technology is now featured in the From Earth to Us exhibit at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa, ON. This work began at MDA Inc., and was developed through research projects at Carleton University, Queen’s University, and with industry partners that included first MDA, followed by Barrick Gold Corporation and Peck Tech Consulting.
Last night, Offroad Robotics and Queen’s alumni were on the top of Bentall 5 in downtown Vancouver at #CIMBC2018 to celebrate the kick-off of Queen’s Mining‘s 125-th Anniversary! Thanks to Queen’s FEAS Dean Kevin Deluzio, Jordan, Shelby, Stuart and the gang at RockMass Technologies, and Glen Turner (Offroad/MSL alumnus) from Motion Metrics for attending. And, thanks to Don Lindsay (CEO, Teck Resources) for hosting everyone. Looking forward to a new year of robotics R&D!
Congrats to MSL’s Jordan Mitchell for placing 3rd in this year’s poster competition at the 2017 SME Annual Conference & Expo and CMA’s 119th National Western Mining Conference & Exhibition last week in Denver, CO! Jordan also recently placed 1st at the 2017 CIM Conference & Exhibition‘s student poster competition in Montreal, QC.
We are now half-way there and so far we have had some really great success. Our achievements are in no small part due to generous and unprecedented access to Atlas Copco’s Kvarntorp underground test mine and use of their fully-equipped and automation-ready ST14 and ST18 LHD machines! We have also made some wonderful new friends and are looking forward to many years of continued work together.
Heshan Fernando is leading the development of automatic tuning algorithms for autonomous loading of fragmented rock (see this CIM Magazine article about our ongoing work on this with Atlas Copco), which is happening in collaboration with Atlas Copco Rock Drills AB and in conjunction with field work at the Kvarntorp underground facility. Heshan is also working Atlas Copco engineers and software developers to create a “load-assist” version of our technology to help operators that use radio-remote controlled LHDs.
ILC+FBL for Fast Autonomous Driving
Lukas Dekker is leading research on a new approach to Iterative learning-based path following for high-accuracy and high-speed autonomous driving of underground mining vehicles. This work is being carried out using Atlas Copco ST14 and ST18 underground loaders and also at the Kvarntorp underground facility.
Collecting strike and dip measurements with a Brunton compass is tedious and time consuming. And, in some cases, can be dangerous if you have to get close to unsupported and/or newly excavated rock. There are other, less developed, ways of doing this by using camera (photogrammetry) or stationary LiDAR measurements, but there can big problems with these methods, including price, accuracy, and the need for significant human input (and error). Hence, these approaches are not widely used.
For several years now, MSL researchers Marc Gallant and Joshua Marshall have been developing a better way; one that is automatic, mobile, accurate (better than a human?!), safe, and extremely fast.
Introducing the Mining Systems Laboratory’s automated geotechnical mapping system. It provides a quick and easy way for geotechnical engineers or geologists to automatically generate rich and complete stereonets that map the joint sets of exposed rock cuts, whether these are on surface, underground, or in hard-to-reach places.
This spring, with the support of PARTEQ Innovations, Marc and Josh decided to give some entrepreneurial Queen’s students (via the QICSI program) the chance to exploit their newly developed intellectual property. Six students took up the challenge and we are happy to report that, after forming the spin-off company RockMass Technologies, they recently won the QICSI pitch competition! Congrats to RockMass Technologies! We look forward to working with you on the future of robotic and automated geotechnical mapping …