Exyn Technologies, a pioneer in multi-platform autonomy for complex, GPS-denied industrial environments, announced Monday a partnership with Maestro Digital Mine, a manufacturer specializing in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices to give mining teams up-to-the-minute information about worker safety underground by integrating critical gas sensors onto the ExynAero and ExynPak. This partnership highlights both companies’ continued efforts to improve worker safety and productivity in the mining industry.
Hazardous gasses underground are an invisible threat to mining teams, who often don’t know they are in danger until it’s too late. This gas buildup can be created through the exposed strata, blasting, daily “mucking” and even runaway battery fires on critical machinery. Traditionally, the gas levels are measured by the ventilation system at the return air raises or wearable sensors donned by miners. And while these innovations have saved countless lives, they don’t allow a manless inspection of the headings before re-entry or in emergency situations.
Now the ExynAero, a fully autonomous drone for exploring and mapping GPS-denied environments, equipped with Maestro’s IIoT gas sensor can be flown down drifts or into stopes to detect and localize any hazardous gasses without putting mining and survey teams in danger. Survey teams can easily add different gas sensors onto an ExynPak and mount it to the front of a truck or loader to capture the same gas sensor data while mapping drifts or moving ore, capturing critical data while not slowing down daily production.
“In the future, buying an autonomous robot will be similar to online car shopping. Pick your airframe, your preferred level of autonomy, and add in any sensors that fit your specific need,” says Nader Elm, co-founder and CEO of Exyn Technologies.
“The capabilities of ExynAI multi-sensor fusion move autonomous robots out of boutique one-to-one use cases and into much broader applications. We’re very excited about our first integration with Maestro Digital Mine and look forward to continually improving worker safety below and above ground.”
Powered by ExynAI’s multi-sensor fusion capabilities, gas sensor readings are captured while the robot is in flight and displayed in real-time via a ruggedized tablet. These sensor readings are saved with precise coordinates in a high-fidelity point cloud that can be exported and examined in a variety of mining software.
With lives and money at risk, the sensor-equipped ExynAero is the next step in improving worker safety in the mining industry.
“Collaborating with a world leading autonomous drone manufacturer is another important step to living up to our core purpose of enhancing lives by the pursuit of productivity and safety excellence,” says Michael Gribbons, CEO and co-founder of Maestro Digital Mine. “This relationship will open up opportunities to both Exyn and Maestro to expand upon our current installations at over 170 mines in 38 countries globally using our patented edge based IIoT sensor technologies.”
Exyn has successfully commercialized industrial-grade multi-platform autonomy with major customers in mining, construction, and logistics.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)