Tag Archives: Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct

RCT boosts automation capabilities of Jevons Robotics ARTEV6000 explosives/stemming unit

Jevons Robotics can now deliver explosives or stemming via its ARTEV6000 product using RCT’s remote control set either via line-of-sight or teleremote control, RCT reports.

Implementing this technology has eliminated the need for personnel to conduct quality assurance or load the blast holes manually, removing exposure hours associated with highwalls, cavities and fatigue. The company has been demonstrating this to interested parties via pilot unit at the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct in Western Australia.

RCT’s Custom Manager, David Wright, said this project was different to any job done before and, therefore, its specialised bespoke department was given the job.

“It is the first time we have remote controlled this type of vehicle carrying out this job scope,” he said. “We were able to use standard loader code, getting it on the machine and talking to the machine.”

The job, in its manual state is well-known as being high risk, which also makes the role difficult to not only recruit for but then retain the staff.

“The great thing about the Jevons platform is that it can be used for a variety of applications on a mine site to remove additional hazards and its flexibility is something that will bring great value to the industry, so we were so pleased to be able to work together on it,” Wright added.

Jevons Robotics CEO, Todd Peate, said that when Jevons was looking for a teleop and line-of-sight capability, it was immediately drawn to the established competency of RCT and its deep experience in mining.

“We wanted a solution that eased our customers mind on automating this process and we certainly have that with RCT,” he said.

IMDEX joins Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct, plans for Dirt Lab

IMDEX says it has become a major industry partner of the new Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct in Perth, Western Australia.

The partnership with the state government-owned precinct will allow IMDEX to accelerate testing and demonstration of technology including its BLAST DOG™ at a site close to its Balcatta headquarters

IMDEX BLAST DOG is a commodity-agnostic blasthole sensing and physical measurement technology that provides near real-time blasthole physicals and orebody knowledge, and a 3D view into the bench.

The 51 ha automation and robotics precinct 40 km north of the Perth Central Business District was purpose-built for testing, research and development, and training in autonomous, remote operations, and robotic systems and equipment.

Launched in October 2021, the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct currently provides extensive test beds, freehold lots and an onsite office for industry use. It is being developed into a facility for innovation, with a state-of-the-art Common User Facility operation building, research and development facilities such as laboratories and design co-labs, and advanced test beds with multiple areas and roadways for physical testing.

IMDEX has signed on as an industry partner for an initial period of two years and will build and maintain a common user drill pad as a critical part of a 22 ha Dirt Lab, which will enable various commercial and collaborative opportunities as an innovation mine test and development site.

IMDEX Chief Executive Officer, Paul House (pictured on the right with IMDEX Chief Strategy Officer, Michelle Carey (centre) and Stuart Nahajski, DevelopmentWA General Manager Regional (left)), said having a purpose-built, robotics research and development site so close to the company’s headquarters was ideal.

“While we operate globally and have an unrivalled presence on all major mining operations, Western Australia is home to some of the world’s major mining companies so having the opportunity to develop and promote our technology locally is an additional benefit,” House said.

“BLAST DOG won’t be the only technology we will test at the site. We have plans for testing a range of IMDEX tools and technology developed by our research and development team.”

IMDEX has recently signed deals with two tier-one mining companies for further commercial testing of BLAST DOG.

The company achieved its first commercial contract with BLAST DOG in August 2022, at Iron Bridge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, with the agreement providing for the staged use of up to three units together with associated products, software, data analysis, reporting and support.

Six commercial prototype trials were planned for the 2023 financial year under the first phase of BLAST DOG development.

BLAST DOG has been developed in collaboration with Universal Field Robots and IMDEX industry partners Teck Resources and Anglo American.

Western Australia invests in new robotics, automation facility

Work has now started on the Australian Automation and Robotics Precinct (AARP) in Neerabup, Western Australia, which will form, the state government claims, one of the biggest test facilities of its kind in the world.

The 51 ha precinct, around 40 km north of Perth, will be a major hub for testing and research into the latest developments in automation, remote operation and robotic systems.

A broad range of industries including mining and resources, defence, oil and gas, agriculture, space, logistics, construction, advanced manufacturing and the education sector are expected to use AARP.

It will provide suppliers and operators of automation and robotics equipment or systems with access to specialist infrastructure including:

  • Common user test beds, with multiple areas and roadways for physical testing;
  • A common user facility operation building; and
  • Supporting research and development facilities.

The McGowan Government committed A$20 million ($14.5 million) towards the precinct as part of its WA Recovery Plan announced last year with the aim of creating jobs and diversifying the economy.

Development of the facility will generate at least 70 construction jobs as the precinct is built over the next three years, and up to 5,000 ongoing jobs in the fields of robotics, automation and remote operations, according to the government.

The facilities will enable companies and researchers the opportunity to accelerate technology and analytics testing and scaling without interrupting on-site production and activities, it says.

The site has the potential to expand to 94 ha to accommodate future growth and will not be sub-divided – remaining a long-term common user facility asset for Western Australia.

An Industry Advisory Group has also been established, while the AARP will collaborate with university and industry research sectors by offering doctoral top-up scholarships for projects that support the Western AustraLIA economy and the precinct’s objectives.

The precinct will also support the resources industry’s bid to transition to net zero carbon status by providing facilities for the testing of new technologies, it says.

Western Australia Innovation and ICT Minister, Don Punch, said: “This exciting precinct represents a A$20 million investment by the McGowan Government in further enhancing Western Australia’s position as a world leader in the growing fields of robotics and automation, and puts us in the best possible position to meet the opportunities and challenges of the future.

“Western Australia is a recognised world leader in the field of automation for the mining sector, and this new facility will see this same success mirrored across a range of industries.

“This builds on the A$100 million Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund announced in the recent State Budget to support and accelerate a range of emerging industries to diversify our economy and deliver the Western Australia jobs of the future.”