Tag Archives: Spot

Dwyka and Maestro showcase robotic mobile gas sensing solution at Indaba

Dwyka Mining Services, an authorised reseller of Maestro Digital Mine, has used the 2022 Investing in African Mining Indaba, in Cape Town, South Africa, to premier a new robotic solution that is fitted with Maestro’s IIoT gas sensor.

Boston Dynamics Spot Enterprise robot, equipped with Maestro’s IIoT gas sensor, can be operated on mine sites to detect hazardous gases like carbon monoxide, without putting mining and ventilation teams in danger, the companies say. Ventilation and mining teams will easily be able to add different gas sensors onto the connected Zephyr Air Quality Station, capturing critical environmental data to proactively identify gas or temperature challenges, according to the companies.

Dwyka and Maestro have invested over 10 years of effort and partnership in Africa, all predicated on improving worker safety and productivity in the African mining industry.

Jamie van Schoor, CEO of Dwyka Mining Services, says the established client base of Maestro Digital Mine environmental sensors is allowing both companies to establish mobile technology for broader applications.

“We’re very excited about this integration with Maestro Digital Mine as a future partner payload for Boston Dynamics Spot Enterprise solution and look forward to continually improving worker safety for whole-of-mine deployment with our new best friend, Spot,” he said.

Boston Dynamics Spot Enterprise is an agile mobile robot designed to navigate all types of terrain, allowing organisations to automate routine inspection tasks, capture data securely and safely, and allow for streamlined operations in complex and dangerous environments, the companies say.

Using the Spot Enterprise on-board processing the data is shared wirelessly over Wi-Fi, and gas and temperature sensor readings are captured while the robot is in operation and displayed in real-time via the Maestro Link™ Server application. With the addition of a SLAM scanning unit sensor, like the Emesent Hovermap, readings can be saved with precise coordinates in a high-fidelity point cloud that can be exported and examined in a variety of mining software packages, the companies say.

Michael Gribbons, CEO and Co-Founder of Maestro Digital Mine, said: “Collaborating with our mud-in-boots partner, Dwyka Mining Services, who are always pushing the envelope with technology integration with pioneering brands like Boston Dynamics, is in turn pushing us to innovate and collaborate with our core purpose of enhancing lives by the pursuit of productivity and safety excellence. This relationship will open up immediate opportunities to Dwyka Mining Services and Maestro in Africa and extend mobile environmental monitoring to our current installations at over 170 mines in 38 countries globally using our patented edge-based IIoT sensor technologies once the solution is fully embedded.”

van Schoor added: “We are excited about extracting value from ‘no-go’ and ‘fly low’ mining areas typical at the majority of narrow reef mining operations in southern Africa where the use of enterprise GPS-denied drones become limited. The Spot Enterprise package allows us to access confined spaces and this information could be used to undertake remote gas inspections so that we can accelerate re-entry to target getting ore to surface sooner without comprising safety.”

Mining Indaba delegates are able to see Spot ‘in the metal’ with a Zephyr AQS at booth 908 at Dwyka Technology Showcase Co.<LAB’s booth in its custom see-through kennel, ready to deploy and dock back onto its charging station ahead of its next mission.

With Spot set to perform a number of ‘tricks’ from the stand, the four-day conference will involve experimentation with a series of partner payloads. These devices that can be attached to Spot, extend the robot’s ability to capture and process data, acting as remote sensing devices this will allow Spot to hear, see and smell in a virtual capacity.

Rethabile Letlala, Operations Director Dwyka Mining Services, said: “Spot is an amazing platform with almost unlimited applications. The ability to get live environmental monitoring data ‘on the go’ by extending our remote sensing capability to ‘smell’ for hazardous gas detection from our new robot dog is very exciting.”

Hexagon reveals two new autonomous reality capture solutions

Hexagon AB has announced the introduction of the Leica BLK ARC and the Leica BLK2FLY, extending its BLK series of autonomous reality capture solutions.

The Leica BLK ARC is a laser scanning sensor purposely built to improve the autonomous navigation of robots and other carrier platforms to deliver fully autonomous mobile laser scanning, Hexagon explains.

Combining its speed, accuracy and versatility with robotics, the BLK ARC addresses the growing demand for autonomous solutions that can safely and repeatedly capture accurate 3D point clouds and panoramic images of changing environments with minimal user intervention, it added.

The Leica BLK2FLY is the world’s first fully integrated, autonomous flying laser scanning sensor, the company claims.

“With a few simple taps on a tablet, users can quickly and easily scan structures and environments accurately and entirely from the air,” the company said. “The airborne scanning provides value across multiple industries in need of accurate data of inaccessible or hard-to-reach areas (eg façade projections, rooftops), ensuring complete capture of a structure’s exterior features and dimensions.”

The BLK ARC and BLK2FLY connect directly to Hexagon’s cloud-based visualisation platform, HxDR, where immediate data upload from the field, artificial intelligence-enabled cloud processing and storage of the captured data enables instant delivery of a purpose-built smart digital reality to anyone who needs it.

Hexagon President and CEO, Ola Rollén, said: “The BLK2FLY and BLK ARC illustrate Hexagon’s commitment to empowering an autonomous future with smart digital realities. The purposefully integrated sensor-software systems are tailored to bring autonomous agility and speed to any reality capture workflow. The robots, sensors and software work together, dynamically adjusting reality capture missions to offer seemingly limitless business applications – from as-built site documentation for buildings to monitoring and situational awareness of remote or hazardous environments, such as mines, factory floors, off-shore facilities, fire investigations and more.”

While the first robotic compatibility for the BLK ARC is with the Boston Dynamics Spot, it can be integrated with other autonomous robotic carriers, according to the company.

The BLK2FLY introduces the next generation of flight safety with advanced autonomous obstacle avoidance. Sensor fusion of LiDAR, radar, cameras and GNSS ensures optimal and safe flight paths, it said.

Percepto’s Autonomous Inspection & Monitoring platform receives funding boost

Percepto has announced a strategic investment of $45 million in funding to, it says, launch a transformative solution for remote, fully autonomous, asset monitoring, inspection and compliance of industrial sites.

The financing, led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, with contributions from new investors State of Mind Ventures, Atento Capital, Summit Peak Investments and Delek-US, plus existing investors U.S. Venture Partners, Spider Capital and Arkin Holdings, brings the total investment in the company to $72.5 million.

Percepto’s Autonomous Inspection & Monitoring (AIM) platform sets a new standard for how critical infrastructure and assets are monitored, end-to-end, paving the way for the remote operations centre of the future, according to the company.

“Operating a fleet of third-party robots alongside their autonomous Sparrow drone, Percepto AIM provides visual data management and analysis to report trends and anomalies and to alert of risks,” it said. “Any member of staff can request data and Percepto AIM will deploy the most suitable robot independently without human accompaniment to retrieve and stream the required data. The platform also seamlessly reports to assess risk, minimise downtime, drive efficiency and reduce operational costs without human intervention.”

Dor Abuhasira, CEO and Co-Founder Percepto, said: “Our customers, which include some of the world’s leading utility, oil and gas sites, mining and other critical infrastructure facilities, are eager to fully embrace automation across their operations and reap the benefits of driving efficiency, reducing costs and safeguarding staff. We’re excited to be the first to empower our customers with truly autonomous inspection and monitoring, driven by the management of multiple visual robotic data sources, together with other visual sources including piloted drones, CCTV and mobile cameras, on site or remotely.”

Percepto has integrated Spot, an agile mobile robot developed by Boston Dynamics, with AIM for the robot to automate inspection rounds completely, controlled remotely via the platform (see photo). Spot carries Percepto’s payloads for high resolution imaging and thermal vision to detect issues including hot spots on machines or electrical conductors, water and steam leaks around plants and equipment with degraded performance, with the data relayed via AIM.

Michael Perry, VP of Business Development at Boston Dynamics, said: “Combining Percepto’s Sparrow drone with Spot creates a unique solution for remote inspection. This partnership demonstrates the value of harnessing robotic collaborations and the insurmountable benefits to worker safety and cost savings that robotics can bring to industries that involve hazardous or remote work.”

ICL Dead Sea, a leading global speciality potash, mineral and chemicals company, has been operating Percepto’s drone-in-a-box solution to carry out inspection, safety and security missions at its operations at the Dead Sea site, and was the first to fly beyond the visual line of sight in Israel, according to Percepto.

Shay Hen, ICL Dead Sea Drone Program Manager, said: “With Percepto’s AIM, we can now live stream all of our missions and no longer have to be physically present on site to control decisions regarding maintenance and operations. Wherever we are, we know exactly what is happening on site.

“We are looking forward to examining the integration of additional robots, such as Boston Dynamics’ Spot, onto our site for holistic inspection capabilities beyond aerial inspection.”