Universal Field Robots (UFR) is an Australian based mining technology company which accelerates the automation of mining activities through robotic mobile equipment and vehicles. IMDEX is a leading global mining technology company that enables drilling contractors and resource companies to safely find, define and mine orebodies with precision and at speed.
These two companies, with the support of METS Ignited, have partnered to create and commercialise an innovative autonomous robotic platform to improve the quality of ore mined through better blasting practices. This initiative will deliver significant safety, productivity and sustainability improvements for the sector.
Applying new thinking and the latest in robotics and automation UFR and IMDEX has changed the nature of onsite blasting which has been commercialised as BLAST DOG™. With support from METS Ignited, UFR and IMDEX trialled and commercialised the BLAST DOG™ product. Created for use across commodities, BLAST DOG™ is a semi-autonomous blast hole sensing and physical measurement technology which captures sensor data to produce high-resolution, three-dimensional material models.
Developing unrivalled pre-blast ore knowledge improves blast outcomes, reduces dust and vibration and optimises the use of costly explosives. Through providing more sophisticated data, BLAST DOG™ also offers increased ESG opportunities through precision mining and optimising downstream processing.
This breakthrough mining support technology will now be utilised at Iron Bridge, an unincorporated joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB, in the Pilbara under a new three-year agreement.
These properties form the inputs into a tactical approach to ore characterisation and processing.
The agreement is the first commercial application of BLAST DOG™ and provides for a staged utilisation which IMDEX estimates will generate revenue of $13 million over the initial term.