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AI Case Study

South32 trials first fully autonomous drone system from Airobotics for mine surveillance

South32 has launched a trial using Airobotics' fully autonmous drones for surveillance at their mining site in Western Australia. The drone technology incorporates AI in order to function.


Basic Materials

Mining And Metals

Project Overview

"South32 is commencing trials of an autonomous drone platform at its Worsley Alumina mine. It will be working with Israeli company Airobotics to conduct pre-programmed drone missions at the Western Australia site, to inspect equipment and map and survey the facility. The trial will be the first time the miner has used fully-automated, multi-purpose drone technology and is the first publicised commercial use of the Airobotics platform. The platform is made up of three parts: the drone, a completely automated base station from which the drone launches and lands without any human intervention, and cloud-based software, which enables users to control and manage missions. CEO Graham Kerr said the company would be increasingly focused on digitisation and technology as a means of boosting productivity."

Reported Results

Pilot; results not yet available


Per Airobotics, their drones are piloted by "computer software and artificial intelligence".



Field Services


South32 "which was spun out of BHP Billiton in 2015, has been using drones at its operations for around three years. Current applications include stockpile and pit scans, creating 3D models with point and photography data, inspecting confined spaces and infrastructure, incident investigations and environmental monitoring."




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