Robots Revolutionizing Mining Industry
The recent gold miners' strikes remind us all how dangerous the life of a miner can be – hence, their demands for more compensation that erupted into a violent crusade.
The good news is that 2012 has been a year dominated by enhancements in mining technology; specifically regarding the robotics industry.
Underwater mining has become especially popular as MIT researchers developed new algorithms that increased the efficiency of underwater mine-sweeping robots.
Now, BHB Billiton is also preparing to launch another fleet or robotic machines that will mine iron ore in Australia's Pilbara region. BHP's iron ore and cola chief Marcus Randolph recently told The Australian: "The real goal is to get the productivity and the cost improvements these technologies can offer. Just implementing them doesn't do that. I think we are going to leapfrog them (Rio) in terms of what we're going to get out of it."
This new system will be so advanced that controllers will be able to operate the trucks in a control room hundreds of kilometres away if they wish.
The company has plans to launch operations with similar facilities in Queensland for the coal mines and at its Escondida copper mine in Chile.
Robotic technologies like this further indicate how quickly robots are taking over global industries; they truly are the wave of the future and will forever change the manufacturing and mining industries especially.
The next gold rush will surely be led by robots enabling a safer environment for workers.
Here's a list of robot stocks to keep your eye on, compiled by Everything-Robotic.com. The first four are American companies :
iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) derives 100% of its revenue from robotic products, mostly military (PackBots), but also consumer-related (Roomba vacuum cleaners).
Raytheon (NYSE:RTN), an aerospace/defense company, has many kinds of robotic products: drones, exoskeletons, vision systems, etc. Still, robotics represents only a very small portion of their overall revenue.
Moog (NYSE:MOG.A), another aerospace/defense contractor and systems integrator, derives some revenue from the manufacture of sensors, haptics, unmanned aerial systems and ancillary products.
Dover Corp (NYSE:DOV), a machine manufacturer, gets just a small amount of their revenue from robotic grippers and components.
ABB (NYSE:ABB ADR) is a Swiss conglomerate; robotics represents only 18% of total revenue.
Sony (NYSE:SNE ADR), a Japanese company, presently has no robotic products for sale, although it has many under development, the most prominent of which is Asimo.
Panasonic (NYSE: PC ADR), also Japanese, is a multi-product company with robotics representing a small percent of the total.
Koninklijke Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG ADR), from the Netherlands, has few robotic products which represent only a minimal percentage of their revenue.
Elbit (NASDAQ:ESLT ADR), an Israeli defense contractor, is actively involved in unmanned aircraft, surveillance and other robotic systems - nevertheless robotics represent less than 20% of gross revenue.
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