Miners are switching to autonomous drones to take care of labour-intensive tasks that require people to climb on stockpiles with GPS equipment, use 3D imaging and laser for inspections, or pilot an aircraft over sites.
According to Israeli company Percepto, miners are making the change because the next generation of autonomous artificial intelligence-powered Drone-in-a-Box or DIB is able to collect, capture and analyze more data across more applications much faster, and at greatly reduced cost.
“Conducting site surveys, routine noise and dust pollution assessments, daily inventory and equipment checks, perimeter security patrols and production forecasts can all benefit greatly from the rich sources of aerial data and insights that our multi-mission DIB are able to capture and transform into meaningful insights,” Ariel Avitan, Percepto’s chief commercial officer and co-founder said in a media statement.
According to Avitan, drones are particularly being used by firms that have introduced driverless vehicles to their mining operations. “Drones can assess large sections of roadways quickly and immediately notify personnel of any obstacles that may impede or damage vehicles and slow down operation,” he said.
The executive noted that the technology is also being implemented to minimize risks associated with confirming the clearance of safety zones ahead of planned explosions, as well as to provide real-time situation monitoring in emergency situations.