Harnessing emerging technologies

Maptek transforms industry concepts around the Internet of Things, machine learning and artificial intelligence into a true ‘connected mine’ reality.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming industry through collection of high volume data from systems and processes industries. Managing big data is the new challenge, as Maptek Chief Technology Officer Simon Ratcliffe explains.

Data collected from IoT devices used in mining, such as fleet management and drilling systems, when marshalled in the right way and properly analysed can stimulate cost savings, efficiency gains and better understanding of deposits.

Maptek already has a range of products that provide the data analysis in that space. We are working on technologies to bring it all together and create solutions using this data holistically.

Decision makers have so much data coming at them, that there is no time to reduce it, analyse it, add value to it and use it. We are keen to leverage the huge advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer a way forward.

Computers are now able to see relationships and patterns in data, often beyond human ability, so there is potential to use machine learning for tasks such as estimating grade.

With hardware reaching consumer price points, augmented reality and virtual reality are also experiencing a new era of buzz, and have great applicability for mining.

Virtual reality allows you to physically move around a model. That’s a win for understanding complex 3D data - the classic case being an orebody.

We see strong merit for harnessing virtual reality as a communication tool in the mining environment.

Think of an open pit mining operation with a schedule to communicate and a series of complicated blasts or pushbacks that need to be completed to achieve a certain outcome. That’s a lot of variables.

Communicating the total picture to all stakeholders could be done in a far superior way with an augmented reality or virtual reality environment than with plots, maps or diagrams.

Augmented reality will allow you to stand in the field and compare your model with a highwall. Imagine seeing the geology from the reserve model overlaid on the face in-situ.

Our PerfectDig solution displays design conformance information over the 3D scene captured by a laser scanner. Using augmented virtual reality technology with head tracking will enhance the PerfectDig experience in the field.

The Maptek technology roadmap is guided by current and emerging technologies. We can plan where the company is going and how we intend to get there.

This journey of exploration and discovery is a very exciting time for Maptek and our customers.