Robotics and automation have a significant role to play in improving the productivity and safety of mining operations, above and below ground. Automation in mining refers to quite a range of topics, from making the haul trucks move across fields by themselves, to creating algorithms that ensure drilling and sorting material is able to be streamlined. The processes involved in creating these solutions involve image segmentation and recognition, machine learning, gps data aggregation and a large amount of control systems.

QUT’s roboticists are forerunners in research will have a major impact on the global mining industry, dramatically improving existing mining operations and facilitating automation in underground environments.

We welcome industry collaborations in this field. For more information about collaborating with our team, please contact us.


Contextual Hazard Detection


In this project the team undertook a review and preliminary evaluation of existing technical solutions for hazard detection using vision sensors only.

Automation-enabling positioning for underground mining

Advance Queensland Innovation Partnership, Caterpillar, Mining3

The project offers potential solutions to the challenge of accurately estimating the position of vehicles in underground mining environments.

Effect of lighting on visual odometry performance in underground mines

01/02/2017 - Ongoing


This project evaluates the effect of illumination on the performance of Visual Odometry (VO) in underground mining environments to identify suitable illumination configurations that should be used to obtain the best performance of VO in these environments.

Robotic Manipulation for Automated Maintenance

01/01/2019 - 21/12/2020


The project evaluates the feasibility of current state-of-the-art robotic manipulation solutions to be applied to the task of automated vehicle maintenance

Semantic Mapping for Robotic Maintenance

12/01/2018 - 21/12/2020


This project investigates the use of semantic mapping methods for the purpose of robotic maintenance in mining

A baseline dataset for performance evaluation of visual detection and classification techniques in mining environments

03/01/2018 - Ongoing


This project aims at building a reference dataset to evaluate the performance of state-of-the-art visual-based object detection and classification methods in mining contexts

Surface Crack Detection and Localisation for Automated Underground Mine Void Characterisation

07/05/2018 - Ongoing


This project focuses on the automatic detection of surface cracks (a.k.a fracture or sharp deformation breaks).

Autonomous Mission Planning, Navigation and Geological Feature Recognition using UAVs (Drones)

22/07/2019 -

This research is aimed at developing a framework for mission planning and geological surface features detection using UAV in GPS-denied environments such as Mars. It involves the development and flight-testing of UAV prototypes capable of navigating in unknown GPS-denied environments in the search of geological features using on-board cameras.

Partners and Collaborators