Automated drill planning for multiple-boom rigs in underground mining


Örebro universitet


Alfred Nobel Science Park, Epiroc, Zinkgruvan

Federico Pecora



Purpose and goal

A significant portion of underground mining operations is related to tunneling. This requires drilling and blasting rock to excavate tunnels that lead to sources of ore. Drilling is carried out by drill rigs equipped with multiple robotic arms. In current industrial practice, drilling is carried out manually by an operator steering the arms on the drill rig. This project will develop integrated motion planning, coordination, and control algorithms which will effectively render the processes of planning and of executing multi-arm motions fully autonomous.

Expected results and effects

Via the methods developed in this project, time to completion of the drilling cycle will be drastically reduced, as the arms will be able to operate concurrently, intelligently optimizing and coordinating their motions. The project will bring the state of the art in integrated motion planning, coordination, and control from TRL 5 to TRL 7. Furthermore, the methods resulting from the project will be applicable to other use cases, in and beyond the mining sector; partner Alfred Nobel Science Park will support in the investigation of such further business opportunities.

Planned approach and implementation

The project will build on an existing framework for integrated multi-robot motion planning, coordination, and control (developed by academic partner ORU). It will extend the framework to the case of multiple, jointed robots operating in a 3D environment. Project results will be demonstrated via research prototypes in Örebro University´s labs, as well as on a real Epiroc Boomer deployed in a mine run by partner ZinkgruvanMining.

More information

Presentation slides from Swedish Mining Innovation Program day 2020