A new Sudbury company hopes to make it easier for mines to use drones and autonomous vehicles underground thanks to 3D mapping technology.

Syed Naeem Ahmed, a physicist who worked in Sudbury's underground neutrino laboratory for five years, started Clickmox Solutions after his work with that project ended.

“We want to be the go-to place for innovative products and technologies,” he said in his office at the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology.

Automation improves productivity and makes mines safer by not placing workers in risky situations. But the industry still has a long way to go before automated vehicles become commonplace in most mines.

One of the big hurdles is navigation.

Drones typically use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to know where they are and where they're going.

But GPS, which uses a network of satellites to pinpoint location, isn't possible in an underground mine.

The solution is to use 3D scanning technology to create digital maps of underground mines.

Source: Northern Ontario Business - see full article