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Squadrone Flies India's First Autonomous Drone in Underground Mines

Proof of Concept conducted at Hindustan Zinc Ltd. (Vedanta) Mines

Bengaluru, India January 19, 2023 Photo(s): By Squadrone

Squadrone, one of the most progressive companies in Aerial Intelligence in Mining & Infrastructure, became the first company to fly autonomous drones in Underground mines in India, after successfully completing a Proof of Concept (POC) at Hindustan Zinc Limited’s (Vedanta) underground mines in Udaipur, Rajasthan The success of this project has proved that the application of drone-based Hovermap LiDAR technology would bring about a huge transformation in the way underground mines are worked in India and would make a huge difference in the life of every miner in India with enhanced safety, productivity, and higher efficiency.

Commenting on the development, Cyriac Joseph, Founder and CEO, Squadrone Infra and Mining Pvt Ltd said, “This is a historic moment for us, as we become the first company in India to fly autonomous drones in underground mines in the country. We sincerely thank the entire team at Vedanta for facilitating this Proof of Concept and congratulate them for taking this exciting step to bring this latest and smart LiDAR-based technology into the Underground mines in India. We also have plans to work with various other mining and tunnelling companies to design and implement innovative applications of this state-of-the-art technology. This technology can be used to improve safety and reduce risks, resulting in more efficient, cost-effective, and smart mining operations.”

Squadrone has partnered with Emesent Australia to drive SLAM based technology in the underground mines in India and Middle East to implement Hovermap LiDAR technology. Hovermap is a drone-based LiDAR sensor that works on the latest SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) technology, comprising revolutionary equipment for mapping of underground workings by autonomous flying in underground mines, tunnels, and remote locations without GPS.

"Squadrone assess the potential of the LiDAR technology in terms of providing 3D mapping of the underground environment and investigate the different applications of the LiDAR data in terms of understanding the geological structure and composition, locating faults and fractures, and inspecting surface features, as well as monitoring and controlling surface subsidence. We also assess the economic benefits of deploying this technology, and the potential of achieving cost savings and increased efficiency. The application of autonomous drones with LiDAR mapping can benefit the mines, by providing high-quality data for safety, mine planning and design, subsidence mapping, and providing advanced analytics for better planning and management of underground operations” Cyriac Joseph added.

Squadrone has also partnered with Strayos Inc, USA for the application of AI & ML driven cloud-based software platform for specialised application of drones in digital transformation for the operation and control of large open pit mines. Strayos is a Cloud based Software platform to implement AI & ML based innovative solutions in mine planning and design, drilling and blasting, mine safety, haulage road management, rock mechanics, slope stability, subsidence mapping and numerous other applications in large open pit Coal and Metal mines.