Robotic Mapping of Underground Drift Networks

APCOM 2009
Unal Artan, N.J. Lavigne, Joshua A. Marshall,
Abstract It is well known in the robotics community that the ability to determine the position of vehicles in real time is a key enabling technology required for automation, traffic management, and to ensure safety in the presence of multiple vehicles. Because of this, the introduction of global positioning systems (GPS) has had a remarkable impact on the surface mining industry, enabling real-time tracking of mobile assets, improved safety, and production optimization. Unfortunately, satellite-based GPS is not available underground. This paper reports on the preliminary results of a study to develop a robust method for globally consistent mapping of large-scale underground mine environments. We believe that this may additionally become the first step towards the development of a novel underground positioning technology. Presented are preliminary results from data collected at two underground mines using an Atlas Copco ST14 LHD machine.
Keywords: Automation, underground positioning, Mapping, Underground safety, Autonomous vehicles, Robotics, Mobile equipment
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