Mining 24 Hours a Day with Robots

Tom Simonite for MIT Technology Review:  Each of these trucks is the size of a small two-story house. None has a driver or anyone else on board.

Mining company Rio Tinto has 73 of these titans hauling iron ore 24 hours a day at four mines in Australia’s Mars-red northwest corner. At this one, known as West Angelas, the vehicles work alongside robotic rock drilling rigs. The company is also upgrading the locomotives that haul ore hundreds of miles to port—the upgrades will allow the trains to drive themselves, and be loaded and unloaded automatically.

Rio Tinto intends its automated operations in Australia to preview a more efficient future for all of its mines—one that will also reduce the need for human miners. The rising capabilities and falling costs of robotics technology are allowing mining and oil companies to reimagine the dirty, dangerous business of getting resources out of the ground.  Cont'd...

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Destaco Automatic Tool Changers

Destaco Automatic Tool Changers

Automatically change end effector tooling quickly and easily with Destaco's Automatic Tool Changers. Designed with exceptional repeatability, high rigidity and load capacity, they are perfect for multiple tooling applications utilizing one robot. We offer different models and sizes to handle light-duty to heavy-duty applications. Our RQC/RTP Series provides a high level of flexibility with a configurable, modular design that accommodates up to four optional modular interfaces.