Robots will soon enter the South African workforce. They’ll be used to help miners reach areas that were previously inaccessible to humans, miningweekly.com reported Wednesday.
The robots are slated to be used to reduce the threat of physical harm to humans and give greater access to reserves that would otherwise be too dangerous to explore.
“Robots operating through remote control are ready to assume tasks and will work well [in local deep-level mines].” Dr. Andries Leuschner, a mining innovation consultant, told delegates at the fourth Global Mining Technology Forum, in Johannesburg. “The primary reason for robots at this depth is to go where humans cannot, and should not, go. [Robots] are not meant to replace [people].”
According to Leuschner, the robots were built to withstand such conditions as extreme temperature, humidity, dust, water pools or flooding, electromagnetic fields, flammable gasses and possible radio interference.