Researchers from the Sustainable Minerals Institute’s Julius Kruttschnitt Minerals Research Centre (JKMRC) at the University of Queensland, Australia, have adapted a software and technology package to improve the safety and effectiveness of remote mine site surveying.
The package integrates camera-equipped Smart Glasses, a portable wireless modem, Bluetooth earphones and an easy-to-use software suite to create a reliable, high-quality link between a mine site and mineral processing experts potentially thousands of kilometres away.
Traditional metallurgical surveys performed by the JKMRC involve data and sample collection and process troubleshooting within a process plant by a team of researchers and site engineers in order to optimise and model the process.
The JKMRC explains that Covid-19 travel restrictions have made remote methods of surveying a necessity and that the new technology makes the solution safer, more user-friendly and more reliable.
The tool is configured as a fully set-up device when it arrives on-site, allowing it to be used without the assistance of an expert. High-quality video and constant communication with the site operator aims to allow remote experts access to the same amount of information as could be gathered in-person.
The Smart Glasses also aim to ensure that the surveying process is safer than other methods, as it doesn’t occupy the user’s hands, obscure the field of view or distract the user as a mobile phone or other communication devices might.
The Centre asserts that the Smart Glasses package may become a preferred option for site surveying, as it is cheaper, gives the same result and is more convenient.