Pittsburgh, PA--Carnegie Mellon University has signed a five-year master agreement with London-based Anglo American PLC, one of the world’s largest mining companies, to develop robotic technologies for mining. CMU’s Robotics Institute (RI), through its National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) and Field Robotics Center (FRC), will design, build, and deploy mining robots, robotic tools, and autonomous technologies in collaboration with Anglo American’s Technology Development Group.
According to the RI, automating the most difficult, costly, and dangerous mining jobs will improve safety and increase the productivity and efficiency of Anglo American’s operations, and advances in robotics will allow the mining of hard-to-reach ore deposits that cannot be economically extracted under existing methods and mine layouts. Immediate applications include robotic mining machinery, mine mapping, and automated inspections.
The Robotics Institute's photonic specialties include 3D range sensing (lidar and radar), imaging including thermal imaging, sensor fusion, and image processing. The RI already has a subterranean-robotics development program in place, having developed robots for mines, underwater caves, natural-gas pipelines, and hydrocarbon-storage tanks.