Tag Archives: RocketDNA

RocketDNA Ltd seals first autonomous xBot contract with Calidus Resources subsidiary

RocketDNA Ltd (RKT), a global drones-as-a-service provider, says it has signed its first long-term contract for an autonomous xBot® solution with Keras (Pilbara) Gold Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Calidus Resources Limited.

The contract will see the provision by RKT of an autonomous xBot solution, which includes:

  • Supply and maintenance of one xBot drone-in-a-box surveying system (SurveyBot®). The SurveyBot is a site-ready, integrated hardware system that supports a surveying drone which is monitored by a pilot located at an off-site remote operating centre (ROC). It is built to meet the stringent requirements of the national aviation safety regulator (Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)) and includes DJI drone hardware, communications systems (ethernet, Wi-Fi, cellular & Starlink connectivity), power management system, weather station and CCTV;
  • Remote operation of the SurveyBot from RocketDNA’s ROCs in Perth and Adelaide. RKT will provide a pilot operating under its CASA-approved deployment and operational risk methodology and policies, allowing the customer to focus on data outputs and insights rather than drone flying. RKT leverages significant cost savings from the ability to manage multiple xBots from a single office site with low travel and site safety overhead;
  • Strayos AI software licence to enable automated processing, analysis and reporting for the open-pit operations using the SurveyBot data. RKT operates a commercial partnership with Strayos which provides mining operators with an array of AI-driven data applications that generate operational efficiencies and insights; and
  • RocketDNA SiteTube® data visualisation platform. SiteTube is RKT’s proprietary data visualisation platform, allowing enterprise customers to host & access their data securely on locally-based cloud servers.

The SurveyBot system will initially be deployed at Calidus’ Blue Bar pit, a satellite open-pit operation that is 70 km by unsealed road from Calidus’ Warrawoona gold project in Western Australia and 25 km south of the township of Marble Bar, in Western Australia. The surveys provided will include:

  • Daily surveys of the open pit for drill and blast design, pit conformance reporting, volumetric reporting;
  • Stockpile surveys for volumetric reporting;
  • Daily imagery and video to provide up-to-date situational awareness of the operation to the clients’ off-site personnel; and
  • Ability for live-streaming of video

The overall solution is expected to generate significant operational efficiencies for the customer including:

  • Reducing the frequency of physical surveying activity, which requires significant road travel and on-site time;
  • Leveraging rapid data processing time and AI insights for mine optimisation; and
  • Providing oversight of mining operations to remote senior management

Calidus Resources Managing Director, David Reeves, said: “Calidus is currently commencing operations at various satellite pits that are up to 70 km distance from our main processing facility. The pits are generally smaller in size and do not justify their own survey team on site. The xBot not only allows daily pickups for survey to be completed efficiently, the associated video also allows our planning team in Perth to understand exactly how the operations are progressing and allow for rapid reaction if required.

“We look forward to partnering with RocketDNA and see great potential for this technology on our other sites as they come on line”

RocketDNA CEO, Christopher Clark, said: “We are delighted to announce this first long-term xBot contract. Although we already have other xBots deployed, the long-term format of this contract will allow us to partner with the customer and potentially provide for further specific needs of the site. The components within this specific contract also demonstrate the breadth of our product suite – and how the different components of XBot, ROC, Strayos and SiteTube can be harnessed to provide an overall solution which is cost effective and value adding for the customer.”

The three-year contact (monthly billing) is conditional on RocketDNA gaining area approval by the CASA. RKT has in place broad CASA approval for autonomous and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations, however, under Australian legislation, further authorisation is also required at the project level to attach additional areas of operations to our current approval. RKT anticipates no impediments in achieving this step.

RKT is currently completing the assembly of its first batch of five xBots from in-stock components, one of which has been allocated to Calidus. After safety reviews and on-site preparation, it will be commissioned within the next 3 months, considering the CASA approvals mentioned above.