A new piece of mining technology developed by Joshua Marshall (Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining) and his Mining Systems Laboratory has positioned the Queen's researchers as leaders in the field of mining robotics.

The technology automates the process of loading the bucket of an underground load haul dump (LHD) vehicle with fragmented rock – making the process safer and more productive.

"Most underground LHD vehicles of this type have a manual operator because there was no truly effective solution to the problem of how to automatically fill the bucket. We believe that we are the first to develop a commercially-viable technology to address this problem," Dr. Marshall says. "Because it's automated, the machine does the same thing over and over, consistently delivering bigger payloads in a shorter time."

Working with PARTEQ Innovations, Dr. Marshall and his former PhD student Andrew Dobson signed a collaboration agreement with Atlas Copco, a world leader in the manufacturing and sales of heavy equipment for the mining industry. Atlas Copco plans to further develop this technology, and potentially incorporate it into future generations of its LHD vehicles.

Atlas Copco first viewed the technology during a field demonstration at Queen's Innovation Park. After seeing the technology first hand, the mining vehicle giant invited Dr. Marshall and Dr. Dobson to visit Sweden and install the technology on one of its underground machines. This is when PARTEQ stepped in.

Source: Phys.org - see full article