Hovermap for un­der­ground drones

Eme­sent has raised $3.5 mil­lion to com­mer­cialise the Hovermap for un­der­ground drones

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Contents -

Eme­sent, a drone au­ton­omy spin-out from CSIRO, the tech­nol­ogy arm of Aus­tralia’s na­tional sci­ence agency, has raised $3.5 mil­lion in ven­ture cap­i­tal to com­mer­cialise its first prod­uct, Hovermap.

The Hovermap tech­nol­ogy au­to­mates the col­lec­tion of valu­able data in un­der­ground ar­eas too dan­ger­ous or dif­fi­cult for peo­ple to sur­vey or nav­i­gate, such as stopes or ore passes in mines.

Drones in­stalled with Hovermap can be de­ployed in GPS-de­nied en­vi­ron­ments with­out a hu­man con­troller to cre­ate 3D maps, and record gas read­ings, videos and im­ages.

“Hovermap en­ables the min­ing in­dus­try to safely in­spect in­ac­ces­si­ble ar­eas of un­der­ground mines, while im­prov­ing the type and qual­ity of data col­lected to un­lock new in­sights,” Ste­fan Hrabar, co-founder and CEO of Eme­sent, says.

“This in­cludes com­par­ing the stope de­sign to the ac­tual post-blast shape to de­tect over-break and un­der-break, iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of geotech­ni­cal struc­tures and ac­cu­rate post-blast vol­ume rec­on­cil­i­a­tions. The data we gather im­proves a mine’s pro­duc­tiv­ity and pro­vides a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of con­di­tions un­der­ground, all with­out send­ing sur­vey­ors and min­ers into po­ten­tially haz­ardous ar­eas.”

Last year, Hovermap en­abled the world’s first fully au­tonomous be­yond-line-of-sight drone flight in an un­der­ground mine, 600 me­tres be­low the sur­face of Western Aus­tralia, says Eme­sent.

It is al­ready be­ing used com­mer­cially for a va­ri­ety of ap­pli­ca­tions by early adopters in Aus­tralia, the US, Canada, China and Ja­pan.

Mike Zim­mer­man, part­ner at Main Se­quence Ven­tures, says Eme­sent is in a po­si­tion to take on the global min­ing in­dus­try.

“Al­though there are a num­ber of com­pelling use cases to­day, there are many more to be re­alised, and we fully ex­pect to see this tech­nol­ogy be­come a main­stay in mines around the world,” he says.

The real-world ap­pli­ca­tions of this tech­nol­ogy ex­tends be­yond min­ing and can be in­te­grated into in­dus­tries such as un­der­ground rail and road trans­port, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and dis­as­ter re­sponse, ex­plains Eme­sent.

Top right: Hovermap al­lows for the fully au­tonomous map­ping of un­der­ground lo­ca­tions

Bot­tom: Eme­sent has im­proved the type and qual­ity of data col­lected

Top left: Eme­sent co-founders Ste­fan Hrabar and Farid Ken­doul

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