Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology revealed their future vision and concept for autonomous mining equipment at the company’s Innovation in Mining Virtual Event. The company gave a glimpse of the next generation of intelligent technologies, which included the fully autonomous AutoMine Concept vehicle. Based on the latest technologies, it is equipped with completely new sensing capabilities and artificial intelligence to enhance mining operations.

The AutoMine Concept perceives its surroundings and environment in 3D and reacts to it in real time. These technologies provide clear advantages by allowing vehicles to adapt and plan their own routes, and to find the most suitable paths even in continuously changing environments, according to Sandvik. The obstacle detection, collision avoidance, and 3D online mapping capabilities improve adaptability and increase flexibility.

“The AutoMine Concept is unique, because it has been designed ground-up for autonomous use,” Vice President of Automation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology Riku Pulli said. “It is the world’s first fully autonomous underground mining machine built specifically for automation.

“This technology raises ease-of-use, effectiveness of asset utilization and adaptability to a new level, resulting in higher productivity. These technologies will truly change the face and pace of autonomous mining.”

This platform is a foundation for using AutoMine technology in various equipment and can be applied to any vehicle, according to Sandvik. The AutoMine Concept vehicle also has a completely new industrial design without a cabin, and with built-in components for high reliability and productivity. This autonomy platform allows for equipment design that is optimized for its primary production tasks without compromises. Furthermore, being fully battery-electric, it generates no emissions.