An autonomous leader found new battery-powered machines can replace human operators beneath the Earth’s surface.
RCT and Rham Equipment have ambitious plans for what they call the world’s first automated and electric loader.
The business partners claim the latest ultra-low profile 25HD loader is not only fitted with ControlMaster driverless technology but also electric battery storage. These two innovations are promised to potentially remove the need for underground mine employees globally.
“The technology will relocate the machine operators to a safe working area on the mine’s surface while enabling optimised autonomous machine operations,” RCT Africa business development manager Mike Thomas said in a public statement.
“Battery-electric equipment fleets can significantly reduce a mining operation’s carbon footprint while eliminating the costs associated with diesel consumption, so we expect to see a greater uptake of the technology around the world.”
The first model has already been deployed to the Land of Ham where it is promised to operate “effortlessly”, even during height-restricted drives at one South African mine.
The companies now hope to roll out the same platform across other mobile equipment makes, types and models. They will be remotely operated from a ControlMaster automation centre on the mine’s surface.
“A cornerstone of ControlMaster is its ability to integrate with any machine and this project proves that our technology can interface with Rham’s loader, which is an entirely new machine for us,” Thomas said.