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HALO - APR Intern - Effective Human-Robot Interaction using Extended Reality for Control of Mining Equipment

Project Member(s): Paul, G.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (Australian Postgraduate Research Intern)
Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (Australian Postgraduate Research Intern)
Ausdrill Pty Ltd (Ausdrill)
Ausdrill Pty Ltd (Ausdrill)

Start year: 2023

Summary: Ausdrill (part of the global Perenti PTY LTD group) is a Drill and Blast mining contractor with the reputation of leading technological advancements in the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector to deliver safe, reliable, and productive solutions. Ausdrill offers a full suite of drilling, blasting, and geotechnical services, and owns Australia’s fleets of purpose-built drilling rigs. Rock scaling, defined as the removal of loose rock from slopes, is one of the most crucial but high-risk geotechnical operations required to ensure the safety of personnel working in open-pit mining. Apart from the health and safety concerns, this manual task is also facing a skill shortage as a cost and time effective way to train new technicians is not available yet. Since 2019, Ausdrill has collaborated with UTS in several research projects, culminating in a recently completed IMCRC project named “HALO” - a mobile manipulator that amalgamates concepts in robotics, digital twins, and virtual reality (VR) to enable safer rock scaling operations. The HALO system enables operators to control the robot from a control station, where they can teleoperate the robot on a rock-wall in VR, eliminating their exposure to hazards. Ausdrill is looking to further develop and improve the system, as well as explore the integration of the remote VR digital twin technology in other implementations throughout its suite of mining rigs and services. To facilitate this, Ausdrill is looking for a PhD candidate with experience in robotics, system integration, and designing digital twin and VR interfaces.


Chaisumdet, D, Tung Le, D, Khoa Nguyen, DD, Sutjipto, S, Rizvi, D & Paul, G 1970, 'Enhancing the Intuitiveness of Remote Mobile Industrial Robots with Haptic Devices', Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, ACRA, Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, ARRA, Sydney.

Tung Le, D, Sutjipto, S, Khoa Nguyen, DD, Long Vu, T, Thong Vu, PD, Munasinghe, N & Paul, G 1970, 'HALO: a Rock Scaling Mobile Manipulator with Interactive Virtual Reality Live Digital Twin', Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, ACRA, Sydney.

FOR Codes: Mining and extraction of energy resources not elsewhere classified, Field robotics