Sandvik demos self-navigating mining loader

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

Sandvik mining loader self-navigates labyrinth of glass to prove automated navigation capabilities


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In recent years, self-driving vehicles have become a frequent discussion topic. Swedish engineering group Sandvik has had automated loaders and trucks working in mines for over 20 years — with zero accidents involving people.

A new video released by the company to show the precision of the automated mining loader sees it navigating a glass labyrinth. Sandvik Group CEO Björn Rosengren takes over the driving at the end and crashes into the walls, shattering the majority of it, with glass flying dramatically.

"Some of today's most sophisticated technology is found within Sandvik's different business areas," he says. "We've always worked close to our customers developing new products and technologies. Going forward we clearly see automation and digitalization as key areas. It will help both Sandvik and our customers to be more productive, efficient and sustainable."

Sandvik’s AutoMine system means that Sandvik loaders and trucks learn the safest and most efficient route the first time they enter a tunnel.  Guided by a set of lasers, the equipment's intelligent system maps out and records a path.

Sandvik’s patented algorithms, together with its sensors and gyroscopes, ensure the machine knows where to go underground, where GPS is not possible.

"Sandvik automated loaders have been in use for more than 20 years, with over two million operating hours underground," automation at Sandvik Mining and rock technology senior systems engineer, Jouni Koppanen, says.

"Autonomous systems improve safety and productivity for our customers. For the first time ever the entire cycle can be automated, from loading to hauling and dumping. Nobody has been able to do that before."

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