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Monday, July 30, 2018

Robot Hauling with Autonomous Trains

Had heard of autonomous shipping, but with oceangoing ships and not with trains.    Here an interesting example. 

World's Largest Robot Hauls Ore Through Western Australia   By Evan Ackerman in IEEE Spectrum

The world's largest robot, called AutoHaul, is an autonomous train that hauls tons of material across Australia. The trains started running in direct supervised autonomy mode in 2017. A human was originally present on the train, but it was still operating autonomously, under remote supervision from an operations center. The train recently made its first trip using only remote supervised autonomy. The robotic system understands its performance, the load it is carrying, and the characteristics of the terrain, all of which enable it to drive itself faster and more efficiently than a human conductor. The system is designed to unlock significant safety and productivity benefits as a result of reduced variability and increased speed across the network, helping to decrease average cycle times. ... " 

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