Multi-purpose mining robot

Mining major Anglo American has said it will partner with the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in the US state of Pennsylvania to develop robotic technologies for mining.

As part of the five year partnership, Anglo America’s Technology Development Group will work with CMU’s Robotics Institute (RI), through its National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) and Field Robotics Center (FRC).

The partners will design, build and deploy mining robots, robotic tools and autonomous technologies with applications in robotic mining machinery, mine mapping and automated inspections.

RI will develop perception, electromechanical and robotic systems for the company’s mining operations, while the partners will jointly explore further applications for the technology.

NREC principal investigator and senior systems scientist Dimi Apostolopoulos said the agreement will "pioneer" a new mining technology.

"We will apply robotics to underground mining tasks that are perilous and extremely challenging for humans. Our robotic solutions will improve productivity through innovations in processes and technologies," Apostolopoulos said.

Anglo American automation and remote control technology development head Donovan Waller said that partnering with experts in robotics is vital to the company’s technology and innovation programs.

"Our agreement with Carnegie Mellon University will allow us to rapidly deploy new systems in our platinum mines and develop technologies that will shape our future operations," Waller added.

Image: Anglo American will employ advanced robotics at its mining operations. Photo: Carnegie Mellon.