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Students drive mining into a remote future

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Category: academics Video duration: Students drive mining into a remote future
Holden Hall's Center for Autonomous Mining, a.k.a. VT Mock Mine, educates and trains the mining engineers of the future to build, program, and operate autonomous vehicles.
So the Center for autonomous mining is a facility, it's a lab scale facility with three different pits that are filled with regolith simulant. So they're the material that simulates what would be on an asteroid or on Mars or on the moon. We have the student groups there and currently we have to ask robotics team. And we have the degree dues who compete in Elon Musk's not a boring competition. So those are two student teams that design, build, and test their bots there. We also do some teaching there. And so I've got a class where our students are building autonomous haulers. And then another student group is building an autonomous excavator. And then they can learn the fundamentals of sensors and robotics and positioning systems indoors and outdoors. So they're learning these things that are important for it's where the industry has been going. And so we want our students to be as well-prepared as possible. Our students understand mining and they're excellent at it, and they do very well. They're highly sought after. But our industry, we really need to get more into the data analytics. Need our students to have a handle on how they can make operations more efficient with autonomous. And so they need to understand the basic sensors and then what can be done to improve efficiency and productivity and use less fuel and lower the carbon footprint. And then the actual data analytics themselves in terms of machine learning and how to do a little bit of coding to that and speak that language with the data scientists that really know that. So kinda serve as an interpreter between the data scientists and the mining engineers so that we can see these pretty massive efficiencies, scale changes that are projected.