The disruptive approach behind Mobilaris Onboard™
A disruptive innovation that enables a paradigm shift in underground positioning.
A fundamental cornerstone for successful automation of an underground mine is the ability to position assets. For many use-cases in underground hard-rock mining, it is totally satisfactory to gain a positioning accuracy of 50-100 meters. Throughout the years, this has been achieved in many ways.
The old way of solving the problem has been to use various proprietary (non-standard) technologies from some companies. The problem with this was the lock-in effect it had as the solutions were proprietary. Devices and solutions could only be bought from that particular vendor. Another drawback was that this usually led to high-cost, low-performance solutions.
Later on, the advent of standardized solutions like WiFi or LTE opened the market, allowing devices and solutions from various vendors to coexist on the same infrastructure and enabling a healthy ecosystem. Now, a positioning accuracy sufficient for most use-cases can be achieved by “off-the-shelf” products, without any lock-in effects and with a positive effect on price-performance ratios.
Still, the positioning accuracy needed for more sophisticated use-cases such as in-vehicle navigation, traffic management etc has not been possible to achieve using these standardized technologies. Instead, specialized and quite costly additional technologies (based on time-of-flight technologies) have been the only available remedy for those use-cases.
For even more advanced use-cases such as autonomous vehicles where you need ultra-high accuracy, LIDAR or similar is the only choice. These solutions are extremely precise but as well, extremely costly.
One of the important cornerstones of Mobilaris solutions is that we are technology agnostic. Our solutions work on whatever mix of technologies that are available. This is to make the “most-bang-for-the-buck” for our clients. We have enabled many use-cases based on standardized technologies as well as proprietary technologies.
However, as underground mines are getting increasingly digitalized and the acceptance of digitalization as a mean for increased productivity and safety is a fact, the urge for more advanced use-cases such as in-vehicle navigation, material handling and traffic management increases. So far, the only viable radio technologies that would satisfy use-cases like these have been either Ultra-Wide-Band (UWB) or other technologies based on time-of-flight (TOF) or time-of-arrival (TOA) measurements. What has been holding those use-cases back a bit is the extra cost for adding a secondary positioning infrastructure on top of the base infrastructure (WiFi or LTE).
As a solution to this problem, and with the aim of making high-precision positioning available to a much lower cost, Mobilaris has focused on this challenge for some years now and we are super happy to be able to unveil our newest innovation for the mining market – a unique and disruptive positioning algorithm called Mobilaris Hybrid Positioning™ (Pat Pend).
This unique innovation is based upon cutting edge sensor fusion, artificial intelligence, advanced mathematics and allows for self-sustained positioning of a vehicle with 5-10 meters accuracy without any dedicated infrastructure for positioning. It does not require any specialized or costly hardware. Instead, it is designed to run on a standard Android tablet.
Mobilaris OnboardTM – customer case
Our own experience together with testimonials from customers makes us totally convinced that this new disruptive innovation will dramatically change underground mining. Using the Mobilaris Hybrid Positioning™ technology, the new Mobilaris Onboard™ tablet acts just like a GPS enabled car navigator underground – now anyone can navigate to a location or to a moving asset without any specific knowledge about the mine.
When there is a network connection available, the precise position of the vehicle is sent to the Mobilaris Mining Intelligence™ system so it can be seen by everyone else. This opens up for even more advanced use-cases such as Traffic Awareness to optimize traffic in the mine, or sophisticated analytics based on precise positioning such as material flow management etc.
Expect more to come.