DJI Matrice 300 drone flies autonomously underground in Australian mine for the first time

    Drones are awesome, they just are. Drones give us a new perspective on the world, and have created a whole new commercial industry that simply didn’t exist 10 years ago.

    While we’re used to seeing drones fly overhead, in a world-first, drone autonomy company Emesent has completed an autonomous underground flight with the DJI Matrice 300 in an Australian. 

    It’s a significant milestone, particularly after Emesent’s simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) autonomous flight system Hovermap was given early access to the next generation industrial drone in June this year. 

    The world-first underground flight took place at Round Oak Minerals’ Mount Colin underground copper mine in northern Queensland.

    The mines were testing Emesent’s 3D LiDAR-based SLAM technology, which allows drones to fly beyond GPS and line of sight into unmapped areas, helping industrial sites map, navigate, and collect data in challenging inaccessible environments. 

    Below is a quick video of the drone in action, complete with a sample of the data that was captured by the drone. Having a 3D map of the underground environment is incredibly useful for regular mine operations, but imagine having access to this level of detail if you ever had an issue underground.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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