Justyna Toton Mar 21, 2023 - Robotics

How is robotics shaping the future of mining? Mining fleet automation with RoSi

Did you know that the future of mining is shaped by robotics? The mining industry faces different sustainability, productivity, and safety challenges. In EY’s report on the top 10 business risks and opportunities for mining and metals [1], ESG (environmental, social, and governance factors), climate change, and costs and productivity rank respectively 1, 3, and 5.

Inflation has greatly affected the mining industry, and growing production costs often delay any sustainable growth plans. While costs of labor and operations may continue to rise, challenges connected to productivity and safety might be tackled with the help of technology.

Innovation ranked 9 in the report [1] has the potential to optimize mining operations to minimize costs and maximize value. In the end, productivity loss to unnecessary waiting time between tasks cripples mining productivity. The industry’s decision-makers are aware of the possibilities created by automation. In EY’s survey [1], 51% of respondents list Process intelligence (Data mining) and Automation (RPA) as their digital priority for the next one to two years.

Most of the successful mines have already implemented automation and robotics into their operational processes. For example, Boliden, a metals and mining company with headquarters in Sweden, introduced automated drill rigs that can operate 40% hours more than their traditional alternatives [2]. Despite the global crisis, their revenue is rising alongside productivity statistics.

Vehicle automation in mining

Mining truck automation levels mirror general vehicle automation levels, starting from level 0 and finishing with level 5. What do these 5 levels look like?

  • Level 0: an operator is fully responsible for a vehicle.
  • Level 1: an operator is responsible for a vehicle, but receives machine feedback to improve task execution.
  • Level 2: certain vehicle functions are automated, but an operator still has control.
  • Level 3: all core vehicle functions are automated, but an operator is needed for more complex tasks and supervision.
  • Level 4: the level of automation is high, but an operator is required for complex functions.
  • Level 5: a vehicle is fully autonomous and can operate in all scenarios, so an operator is not needed.

Autonomous fleet automation is a practice that includes simultaneous testing of multiple autonomous vehicles to optimize mining operations. Why is it important? The mining industry struggles with productivity loss to unnecessary waiting time between different mining operations.

Once all these factors are carefully analyzed, mining fleet automation software can create a perfect operational plan designed to boost productivity and safety. Automation of mining fleets is one of the ways to create safer, more efficient mining systems worldwide.

RoSi Simulation Platform and autonomous mining of the future

Productivity, safety, and sustainability challenges continue to shape the future of mining, but robotics might help to tackle them effectively.  The use of automated mining equipment in underground copper mine sites has proven to be widely successful, as it significantly reduced carbon emissions by optimization of haulage and loading operations [3]. In the end, automation may be an answer to many of the industry’s challenges.

In automation, we trust, but proper automation is a result of careful testing to ensure that productivity will not compromise safety. Robotec takes part in building a better mining future by developing a RoSi simulation platform. It is a full end-to-end simulation platform, designed for the development, validation, and testing of Autonomous Driving Software. Additionally, it is fully compatible with other fleet management systems or mining management systems altogether.

RoSi is well-adjusted to support the simulation of confined areas, such as mines. As a result, it can be used to run productivity assessments and optimization, run safety validation tests, and generate synthetic data for ML models. Why is it important for mining? Well, it enables testing various settings to boost productivity and ensure the required safety of the system. Simultaneous testing of multiple vehicles is the foundation of successful mining fleet automation.

Mining fleet automation with RoSi

What are the key features of RoSi?

  • Digital twin generation: digital copies of a mining environment based on 3D scans, architectural plans, satellite imagines, video recordings, and geodata enable the creation of realistic simulation scenes. Different testing scenarios are run with the help of the Unity3D engine to ensure maximal realism.
  • Large-scale scenario-based testing: we enable the testing of many different mining scenarios to test the safety and productivity of mining systems. We are flexible, so we can also create customized scenarios for all mining systems.
  • Validation of the system: we use RoSi to measure performance and quality with the set of safety and productivity-related metrics. Every mine is different, so we can add additional metrics if needed.
  • An intuitive graphical user interface: it is easy to execute experiments as well as monitor and analyze their results.

RoSi is designed to run successful simulations of confined areas.


Mining fleet automation is an increasingly popular solution in the mining industry. It allows mines to do the impossible – increase productivity and optimize operational costs. Robotec’s RoSi is a full end-to-end simulation platform that supports mining fleet automation every step of the way. Feel free to ask for a demo to see how it can create a more productive, sustainable, and promising future for the entire mining industry.


[1] EY. Top 10 business risks and opportunities for mining and metals in 2023. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_gl/topics/mining-metals/ey-final-business-risks-and-opportunities-in-2022.pdf

[2] Research, G. D. T. (2022, November 10). Robot wars: Mining supremacy is a matter of deploying robotics effectively. Mining Technology. Retrieved March 6, 2023, from https://www.mining-technology.com/comment/mining-deploying-robotics/

[3] Kyle Moreau, Corey Laamanen, Ron Bose, Helen Shang, John Ashley Scott,

Environmental impact improvements due to introducing automation into underground copper mines, International Journal of Mining Science and Technology, Volume 31, Issue 6,

2021, Pages 1159-1167, ISSN 2095-2686, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmst.2021.11.009.



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