In the last issue of International Mining, Paul Moore spoke to Dr. Christian Riedel about xtonomy’s proximity detection module.
Q How does CAS fit into the xtonomy offering and what technology is
A xtonomy offers both active and passive CAS systems utilising indurad’s
proven hardware. Proximity detection is part of xtonomy’s autonomy
ecosystem and is offered as stand-alone modules as well. Our modular
CAS system encompasses both transponder tags as well as radar sensors.
xtonomy integrates indurad radio transponder tags (iRTT) as an active
proximity detection system in vehicle CAS applications both for surface
and underground applications. xtonomy also utilises indurad’s advanced
scanning dynamic radars (iSDR) on trackless mobile machinery such as
trucks, loaders and shovels. The passive radar CAS approach detects any
given object, such as rocks and does not require any further infrastructure
elements such as tags but presupposes line-of-sight, whereas radio
transponder tags enable CAS even without direct sight. Both technologies
are designed to work in rough environments, eg with dust. In combination
with GNSS on surface, these technologies greatly complement each other
to reach highest 2oo3 fail-operational safety and availability levels both
for manual and autonomous machines. Besides vehicle collision
avoidance iRTT is also utilised for real-time-localisation, positioning and
Q To what extent is radar already being used as part of CAS solutions
A indurad has been successfully utilising its radar sensors in a great
variety of its solutions in rough environments around the globe for many
years. Some examples are shiploaders, stackers and reclaimers. xtonomy
has adapted these CAS modules for its trackless mobile machine
applications. Radar CAS has been implemented on manned and
autonomous equipment in underground and surface applications. Our
advanced radar technology is the cornerstone to provide autonomy everywhere.
Q Can you give an example of where your CAS solutions have already
been deployed whether surface or underground?
A indurad radio transponder tags (iRTT) are utilised across several
solutions in large scale across the globe for many years. For vehicle CAS
this technology is utilised in underground applications eg in Germany in a
nuclear repository. Radar CAS has been implemented on mobile machines
such as on autonomous trucks but also on LHDs as well as tunnelling
Q Are you working directly with any companies trying to develop Level 9
A Implementation of our CAS technology is advanced and state-of-the-art
as part of our autonomous systems that encompass dynamic path
planning with deterministic control around stationary or moving
obstacles. For manned equipment we may give audio-visual alarms, slow
down equipment, or activate brakes (with prior warning), but do not
override steering. Only in certain applications we do offer a lane-keeping
assistance with active steering. We do envision level 9 as the ultimate
goal and utilise our comprehensive technology stack within safety
boundaries to implement advanced CAS features.
Q Are you mainly working with equipment OEMs or mining sites or both?
A Both indurad and xtonomy are working with OEMs as well as end
customers. One example for a successful cooperation with an OEM is the
development of the ISO-compliant drive-by-wire interface with Bell. On
other occasions we work closely with our end customers to adapt our
solutions to site-specific requirements.
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