Nick Larson

Visit RIGID ROBOTICS at the 2018 CIM EXPO

RIGID ROBOTICS will be exhibiting at the 2018 CIM EXPO in Vancouver, BC, which is also the location of our head office. The EXPO, which is part of the larger CIM 2018 Convention, begins on Sunday May 6th and runs until Tuesday May 8th. This year’s theme is ‘Thinking Differently,’ which is a perfect match for RIGID ROBOTICS’ innovative solutions to communication, positioning, safety, and automation challenges.

Our CEO, Mehran Motamed, as well as our members from our business development and technical teams will be on hand throughout the EXPO and convention.

We will be located in booth #1038. If you would like to set up a time to discuss our solutions and how we think differently when it comes to solving challenges across the mining industry, feel free to contact anyone on our team or send an email to info@rigidrobotics.com.

The 2018 CIM Convention logo

Hosted by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), the convention also includes workshops, technical sessions, and networking events. More than 5000 participants from approximately 40 countries are expected to attend this year. Learn more on the convention website.  

Nick Larson

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Demo

RIGID ROBOTICS, in partnership with FPInnovations, recently demonstrated the vehicle-to-vehicle communication capabilities of trackPIN™ and surveyPIN™ in the Malcom Knapp Research Forest in BC, Canada. The purpose of the demonstration was to showcase the range and flexibility of trackPIN and surveyPIN’s vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication under fair to extremely poor conditions, including thick cloud cover, varying elevations, and a variety of vegetation heights and densities. These conditions are significantly worse than the typical conditions found within the mining operations for which trackPIN and surveyPIN were originally designed.
For the purposes of the demonstration, two light trucks were each outfitted with surveyPIN, which has an identical V2V communication module as trackPIN. One truck remained stationary while the other traveled on various roads and measured communication strength.

Demo Results

The V2V communication performed exceptionally well, achieving a range of 535 meters in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and under the worst attainable conditions. It achieved a range of over 2000 meters with a direct line of sight between the vehicles. This range is more than adequate for the conditions found in most mining and forestry operations.

In subsequent testing, the signal from each truck was amplified using a 10 watt amplifier (under a special Transport Canada permit granted at the request of FPInnovations). During this set of tests, the V2V communication continued to function at a range of 720 meters in NLOS under the worst attainable conditions and over 4000 meters with line-of-sight (LOS) between the two vehicles.

The Need for V2V Communication in Forestry

Eventually, FPInnovations hopes to make use of V2V capability to enable truck platooning for log trucks on log roads. Truck platooning enables unmanned ‘follower’ trucks to follow a manned ‘leader’ truck, with the followers mimicking the path of the leader while maintaining speed and distance. Truck platooning offers immediate cost savings given reduced labour costs, extended maintenance cycles, and reduced fuel consumption.

The V2V communication module found in both surveyPIN and trackPIN is also used to enable vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) communication for data transmission, authentication, and integration into existing infrastructure. RIGID ROBOTICS’ V2V/V2X capability enables the awareness and coordination required for automation/robotics projects.

About RIGID ROBOTICS trackPIN & surveyPIN

Referred to as high precision positioning and communication devices, trackPIN and surveyPIN provide:

  • Precision positioning functionality with up to 7mm of accuracy and high position availability using three levels of dead reckoning/inertial navigation in the event of satellite blockage (such as alongside a cliff face or deep within a mining pit). Optional dual antennas enable precision heading.
  • An industrial WiFi router with 1000m of transmit power to allow data routing, remote maintenance, and connectivity to the operation’s network.
  • V2V/V2X functionality to enable machine-to-machine communication and coordination required for various operator assistance and automation projects.

Additionally, trackPIN and surveyPIN feature an open-API inline with the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG).

trackPIN is offered at a price point affordable for fleet wide deployments on all vehicle types including haul trucks and light vehicles. Examples of trackPIN applications include ore tracking, precision fleet management, predictive collision avoidance, accurate elevation estimations, and more.

surveyPIN’s higher level of accuracy as well as a lightning fast acquisition time makes it suitable for drilling, digging, surveying, and vehicle automation.

Nick Larson

Vibration Testing Products for Mining

Designing for Challenging Environments

Our team puts a lot of time and effort into testing every RIGID ROBOTICS’ product before it arrives at a mine site. This is because products used in mining are subjected to conditions that are much harsher than those typically found in other industries. Aside from high levels of dust and limited protection from the elements, the equipment used for mining often produces powerful vibrations and high temperatures.

Most commercial products will fall apart within minutes on a Caterpillar D10 Dozer, which is a vehicle notorious for the harsh vibrations it produces. While some manufacturers may test products in isolated vibration conditions, very few also test the connectors, attached cables, and other accessories such as antennas. Unfortunately, these cables and connectors are often the first point of failure in mining environments.

RIGID ROBOTICS’ Approach

Our mechanical systems team, led by Thomas Huryn, takes every component into account throughout product development, from conception to production. At the earliest product stages, we use state-of-the-art finite element analysis to engineer our products to achieve a 15G shock rating.

The team then uses a custom vibration test stand to discover whether any components will fail or weaken under the stress of both continuous and variable vibrations.

We subject products such as trackPIN™ (shown in the video) to harsh vibrations at a range of frequencies and amplitudes. These tests are the designed to match the power spectral density profiles outlined in MIL-STD-810 G.

If any issues are revealed, we iterate on the engineering design, selection, and testing process until products are performing to the highest standard. We only begin production of a product once several prototypes have completed this process.

This attention to detail is just one part of what separates RIGID ROBOTICS from other companies. Contact us today to learn more.

Nick Larson

RIGID ROBOTICS in Mining Magazine September 2017

RIGID ROBOTICS’ CEO Mehran Motamed recently spoke with Carly Leonida, the editor of Mining Magazine, regarding the impact of high-precision positioning on fleet management systems. The September 2017 issue of the magazine, which is one of the mining industry’s leading publications, includes quotes from the interview in a feature article titled “Disrupting Fleet Management.” Read more

Nick Larson

Introducing trackPIN™ & surveyPIN™

Our business development team has just returned to Vancouver from the CIM Expo in Montreal, where they showcased our new high precision positioning products to the public for the first time. At the request of key stakeholders in the mining industry, we have taken the innovative positioning subsystem from our DriveAssist™ operator assistance platform and released it as a separate product. Named trackPIN™, this revolutionary product brings 2.5cm tracking-grade performance at a cost low enough for fleet wide installations on haul trucks and even light vehicles.

Read more