An EU-backed project looking to tap into the full potential of the ‘digital mine’ goes live this month, with Retenua’s AI-driven RefleX™ machine vision technology set to be further optimised, adapted and tested as part of the scope.
The illuMINEation project under the European Union-backed Horizon 2020 has a budget of €8.9 million ($10.5 million) and is looking to embed digital thinking into the heart of the mining sector by improving digital skills of mining personnel and enhancing the cooperation along the entire digital mining value chain, according to Retenua.
“Europe urgently needs to reduce its import dependency in respect to a multitude of raw materials,” it said. “In order to do so, Europe’s mining industry must completely redesign the process of traditional mining via the adoption of pioneering innovations and extensive use of data analytics.”
The illuMINEation project will highlight significant aspects of digitalisation in underground mining activities with the core objective of improving the efficiency as well as health and safety of European mining operations and its personnel, Retenua said, with RefleX set to be one technology to undergo testing.
In the scope of IlluMINEation research project, RefleX will be employed in demanding underground mining environments. The core technology of Retenua’s product line emitrace®, RefleX includes both embedded infrared stereo vision hardware and smart algorithms for detecting and tracking workers and equipment from mobile heavy machinery.
The ability to reliably detect worksite personnel and selected infrastructure in the vicinity of vehicles not only in good daylight conditions but also in poorly illuminated environments makes Retenua’s solution highly suitable for use both above and below ground, the company says.
The technology evaluation and customisation will be primarily carried out in collaboration with project partner Epiroc Rock Drills AB and represent an important step towards improved safety standards in mining operations, Retenua said.
The multidisciplinary project consortium within illuMINEation consists of 19 partners from six European countries, constituting a well-balanced assembly of world leading industrial and academic players from a multitude of technical fields and applications, it added.
This includes Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft MBH, Epiroc Rock Drills AB, ams AG, KGHM Cuprum sp zoo, DMT GmbH & CO KG, GEOTEKO Serwis Sp zoo, Lulea Tekniska University, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, KGHM Polska Miedz SA, Minera de Orgiva SL, RHI Magnesita GmbH, DSI Underground Austria GmbH, Retenua AB, IMA Engineering Ltd Oy, Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Worldsensing SL, Instytut Chemii Bioorganiczney Polskiej Akademii Nauk and Boliden Mineral AB.