Neptec Technologies Corp. has completed proof-of-concept testing on a new 3-D lidar sensor system designed to help truck drivers and shovel operators for mining operations. The 3DRi Spot Assist system uses multiple lidar sensors mounted on the shovel that continuously scan the loading area. Working with the software program, they recognize and track haul trucks as they prepare to pull up beside the shovel for loading. The application calculates the optimal loading position beside the shovel, determines a valid path for the haul truck to back up into that position, and provides the haul truck driver with cues on a display in the truck. The system supports single and double-sided loading configurations. It also alerts the shovel and haul truck operators to obstacles and reports on spotting efficiency to assist with operator training and benchmarking. Related: Webinar on laser-based machine vision Feb. 25 Developed in collaboration with Barrick Corp., Teck Resources and Peck Tech Consulting Ltd., the system uses Neptec’s 3DRi (3-D real-time intelligence) software development platform and obscurant-penetrating Opal 3-D laser sensors to improve the productivity and safety of operations in the loading area of open-pit mines. The testing was completed at Teck’s Fording River Coal Mine in southeastern British Columbia. “While full automation is the long-term goal, we can see many possible applications of Neptec’s 3DRi and Opal technologies to create intelligent, real-time 3-D solutions that help our operators perform complex tasks more efficiently and with less risk,” said Andrew Scott, Barrick’s senior director of mining information technology and automation. Neptec develops 3-D robotic vision systems for intelligent operator assistance and real-time machine automation in harsh environments for the mining, oil and gas, and defense industries. For more information, visit www.neptectechnologies.com.