Over the past few years there has been an upsurge of interest in automated mining equipment, ranging from in-vehicle assistance systems (such as collision detection) through to visions of a fully automated and ‘people-less’ mine of the future. This project is aimed at understanding how new technologies can be developed in ways that take into account the human factors issues related to remote controlled/ automated mining equipment. In particular, this ongoing research is analysing the skills and cognitive capabilities that will be required to operate or maintain remote controlled equipment, where the focus is upon developing optimal interface designs to address performance gaps, rather than purely relying on operator training. Initially, the work includes conducting literature reviews, compiling an “active” database of existing and emerging technologies, and interviewing technology developers, regulators, managers and end-users. The interviews are ongoing at the time of writing and are still to be completed and fully analysed. Tentative analysis of the results of this work show several themes emerging. The work to date will be presented in the poster.
46th Annual Conference of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA 2010)