Fluidmesh’s automated technology on display at AIMEX

Driverless trucks have been in operation on mine sites for some time, however the ability to provide effective and reliable internet connectivity for moving vehicles at a mine site can be a challenge.

Fluidmesh Networks, co-founder and VP sales and marketing, Cosimo Malesci said, “Traditional wireless solutions used on mining sites use a Wi-Fi approach, however, Wi-Fi technology was not designed for reliable, mission-critical vehicle communication.

“Our wireless mesh networks are specifically designed to be easily deployed and managed in harsh conditions. The basic concept of a mesh network is that there is no single point of failure, meaning all mesh nodes are able to communicate with one another.”

Founded in 2005 by a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Polytechnic University of Milan, Fluidmesh began as a developer of wireless mesh-based solutions for video surveillance. Six years ago, the company expanded and create a new division focusing on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-ground communications.

“The biggest advantage of the Fluidmesh network is that it uses a multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) wireless solution.

“We’ve been able to adapt MPLS to wireless networks, which has allowed us to solve some traditional wireless mesh network issues like delivering communication and connectivity to vehicles.

One of the main challenges Fluidmesh has been able to solve is latency – the delay between information being sent and received.

“When a vehicle becomes automated, latency plays a key role. When using an automated vehicle, you need to be able to control it very carefully because if there is any delay in receiving information, even for a fraction of a second, the vehicle is out of control.”

The other challenge Fluidmesh has solved is hand-off time, where the haul truck remains connected to the network while moving around the pit by roaming from one trailer or wayside radio to the next – the time it takes to hand-off from one to another has an impact on the network’s stability and availability.

“Our system has been able to solve this through using MPLS. A traditional Wi-Fi system has a hand-off of anywhere between 200 to 500 milliseconds. While that timeframe seems minimal, when you apply it to controlling a machine, it has a significant impact on the operation of the system and the productivity of the mine.

“Fluidmesh is the only wireless solution that has been able to solve this and deliver a solution that has no hand-off.

Fluidmesh are sponsors of the AIMEX Future of Mining Conference. This free-to-attend conference, features over 16 sessions showcasing over 30 leading experts.

Date/TimeConference sessionSpeakers
Tuesday August 29
10:30am – 11:30am
Panel Discussion: Setting the scene – Outlook for the Australian mining resources industry

 

Stephen Galilee, CEO, NSW Mining
Mick Buffier, Chairman, World Coal Association
Adrian Hart, Senior Economist –  Infrastructure & Mining, BIS Oxford Economics
Tuesday August 29
11:35am – 12:20pm
Case Study Collaboration, technology and innovationJohn Richards, Chairman, The Bloomfield Group
Wednesday August 30
10:30am – 11:30am
 

Championing technology and innovation in ‘new normal’ environment

 

Dr Ewan Sellers, Research Director for Hard Rock Mining, CSIRO
Professor Paul Lever, CEO, Mining3
Jeannette Mcgill, Head of Telstra Mining Services, Telstra
Steve Burgess, Executive General Manager Operations Excellence, Centennial Coal