Sandvik links up with robotics specialist to develop underground autonomy

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology is set to combine its digital mining expertise with Exyn Technologies’ proficiency in aerial robotics in a new partnership.

Sandvik aims to develop solutions for mapping and visioning underground mines as operators go through hazardous, hard-to-reach locations.

Sandvik’s OptiMine combined with data collected by Exyn’s aerial robots creates progressive visualisation of the mine’s actual environment to increase transparency of the mining process.

OptiMine helps optimise underground hard rock mining production and processes, integrating all assets and people including non-Sandvik equipment to deliver insights to improve operations.

Exyn is a pioneering developer of autonomous aerial robot systems for complex, GPS-denied environments.

The company’s solution enables flexible deployment of single or multi-robots that can intelligently navigate complex environments in real-time.

“For the first time, customers will be able to map the entirety of their underground operations, even in dangerous GPS-denied environments, while making mining safer and improving productivity,” Exyn co-founder and chief executive Nader Elm said.

Sandvik stated that industries like mining can benefit from a single, integrated solution to capture time-sensitive data in a safer, more affordable and more efficient way.

Sandvik and Exyn will collaborate on research on how to apply and generate 3D views and perceptions of underground spaces autonomously, while leveraging the full potential of Sandvik’s automation system, AutoMine.

“This partnership will open up unique benefits, build on our industry leading automation offering and drive faster decision-making in mining processes to seize new opportunities for improving production performance,” Sandvik president of Rock Drills & Technologies, Patrick Murphy said.

Elm concluded: “Through this partnership, we hope to empower efficient decision-making for customers and drive towards the vision of fully autonomous mining operations.”

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