Thursday, December 3, 2020
8:50 AM - 9:00 AM
Introduction by Chairperson
Peter Knights - The University of Queensland
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Exploring Australia's greatest opportunity - to be a global Robotics powerhouse - or is it about to slip through our fingers?
  • We are experiencing a "Robotic boom" (accelerated by COVID-19), reminiscent of the boom of the late 90's
  • The Australian tyranny of distance – and the resulting unique access to unique environments for technology development 
  • Comparing Australia with other countries 
  • How can we ensure that we are successful and what can hold us back
  • Evaluating "Robotics as a Service" as a new business model
Andrew Scott - Symbiotic Innovations
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM
New findings from the Robotics Roadmap for Australia, and its impact on the resources sector
  • Developing test sites in Australia
  • Increasing need for automation to offset travel restrictions during covid
  • Lessons from other sectors of the economy
  • Workforce planning and the need for tech literacy
Dr. Sue Keay - Robotics Australia Group
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Panel - Collaboration – how industry (mining companies and METS), academia and Government can and should work together to advance technology innovation
Kate Dickson - AMEC
Professor Ross McAree - School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, University of Queensland
Andrew Scott - Symbiotic Innovations
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Morning Break
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Precision - the key to unlocking value in mining automation
  • What is precision and why is it an essential prerequisite for delivering business value from equipment automation?
  • Dragline excavation sequencing – potential and achievable benefits through precision in dragline placement, dig, and spoil. 
  • Autonomous bulldozers – how choreographing the actions of a semi-autonomous bulldozer fleet improves business value. 
  • The challenges of realizing precision in automation and some possible pathways to overcoming them.
Professor Ross McAree - School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, University of Queensland
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Machines that see

How close are we to machines that can see as well as we can? This talk will define and motivate the problem of robotic vision, the challenges as well as recent progress at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision. This includes component technologies such as novel cameras, deep learning for computer vision, transfer learning for manipulation, evaluation methodologies, and also end-to-end systems for applications pertinent to the mining industry such as logistics, agriculture, environmental remediation and asset inspection

Peter Corke - Queensland University of Technology
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Autonomous Drones Underground - Challenges and Benefits
  • Discuss the challenges of enabling autonomous drone flight in underground mines
  • Technical, environmental and integration challenges
  • Describe how Emesent have addressed some of these challenges with Hovermap
  • Present case studies showing the benefits and value from drone-based lidar mapping in inaccessible areas such as stopes and ore passes
Dr. Stefan Hrabar - Emesent
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
State of the art of robotics research and the opportunities for mining applications
  • An update on robotics research and industry collaboration 
  • Analysing the opportunities to leverage robotic developments/applications from other industries
  • State of the art perception in robotics, and its impact on localisation and mapping 
Thierry Peynot - Queensland University of Technology (QUT) & Mining3
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Human-systems integration for the safe implementation of automation in mining
  • Reinforcing automation – changing tasks, not removing people from the system  
  • Taking human abilities and limitations into account 
  • Integrating human-systems and the domains of staffing, personnel, training, human factors engineering, safety and occupational health into each stage of the systems capability life cycle 
Robin Burgess-Limerick - The University of Queensland
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Progress towards zero-entry mining
  • Initiatives towards truly “mining without people"
  • Setting out an agenda for future research and development 
Peter Knights - The University of Queensland
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Afternoon Break
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
In-Situ Resource Utilisation
  • Engagement and collaborations 
  • Space-Mining opportunities 
Mark Dunn - CSIRO
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Panel – Machine Learning and AI – enabling operational decision support and full automation
  • Exploring enterprise-grade AI to support mining automation and robotics
  • Implementing AI – immediate versus future pay-off.
  • How can closing an education gap and shifting the perception of AI help gain immediate AI application pay-offs 
  • Is machine learning an essential component in mine digital twin operational decision support (Level 3 automation) and optimised autonomous operation (Level 4 automation)?
  • How can operations reduce the risk of autonomous systems being turned off? What is the role of machine learning interpretability in gaining acceptance from operations?
Andrew Job - Plotlogic
Michael Milford - Queensland Institute of Technology
Penny Stewart - PETRA
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Innovation Snapshots
Steve Amor - Euclideon International PTY LTD
Adam Stacey - Micromelon Robotics
Shawn Tansley - BIA5 Pty Ltd
5:00 PM - 5:10 PM
Friday, December 4, 2020
9:00 AM - 9:40 AM
Embracing Robotics and Automation in a post COVID world
  • Exploring how mining has become an industry leader in Automation and Robotics
  • Sustaining our industries through the pandemic and other challenges through technology
  • Seeing technology as the solution, not a threat, to METS continued role in operations
Adrian Beer - METS Ignited
10:00 AM - 10:40 AM
Q&A: Creating value through automation and integrating processes across the supply chain
  • The drive to automate and integrate systems
  • Current state of automation in mining operations
  • Where is value created and how is it retained along the supply chain?
  • How to implement automation across the business to deliver value
Leveson Sutton - BHP
Gavin Yeates - Gavin Yeates Consulting
11:00 AM - 11:40 AM
Shaping the sustainable future of mining

Consumers, employees and society increasingly expect businesses to lead the way on sustainability initiative. With sustainability emerging as a business imperative in today's experience economy, those that step up have the opportunity to reap great rewards.

Michelle will discuss the three pillars of sustainability in a mining context, the role of innovation in helping to shape a more sustainable mining operation and how we walk towards change while generating longer-term growth in profitability.

Michelle Ash - Dassault Systèmes
12:00 PM - 12:40 PM
From Silicon Valley to Fortitude Valley
  • Insights from the frontier of industry 4.0 robotics and automation ventures   
  • How mining companies can optimally engage with the next generation of start-up founders and technologies 
William Pryor - SkyCatch
Brent Watts - 77 Partners
1:00 PM - 1:40 PM
Success factors (and conversely how to avoid failing) in mining digital transformation projects
Gavin Yeates - Gavin Yeates Consulting
2:00 PM - 2:40 PM
Invisible Infrastructure at Automation & Robotics
Jacqui Coombes - Amira Global
3:00 PM - 3:20 PM
Board assurance of technical and operational risk during the digital transformation of mining
  • Making sure we know what our key risks are, their key controls and their effectiveness
  • Board responsibilities and liabilities under WHS Act
  • Pushing frontline risk assurance information up to the board - through the impervious barrier in the middle of companies
Alex Atkins - Alex Atkins & Associates Pty Ltd