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Australia Technology

Autralian Mining Companies Increasing Use of UAVs 67

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the tracking-down-nightrider dept.
aesoteric writes "Australia's top miners have opened a new front in their march to automation, flying unmanned aerial vehicles in increasing numbers at remote sites across the country. They've been used to inspect a fire-damaged oil rig, perform aerial photography and stockpile surveys. There is also a trend towards non U.S.-built UAVs, due to the lag in receiving export approvals for the aircraft and spare parts."
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Autralian Mining Companies Increasing Use of UAVs

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  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Monday May 28, 2012 @11:07PM (#40139281) Homepage Journal
    I would like to know why this has been tagged as being about "Australia" and not my home country, "Autralia". Stupid Americans! I suppose you think Autria is the same country, too!
  • So what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday May 28, 2012 @11:26PM (#40139353)

    The grand word "Unmanned Aerial Vehicle" hides the very simple concept of an oversized radio-controlled plane. Amateurs have been doing aerial photography - and sometimes very good aerial photography - on the cheap with RC planes for a long time. Nothing earth-shattering here...

    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by XiaoMing (1574363) on Monday May 28, 2012 @11:47PM (#40139419)

      If you look at the video in TFA, or even at any of the $20 RC toys that are out there now, you will see one ubiquitous characteristic not present a decade ago that explains why they are such an attractive option: the gyro-stabilization.

      Even a few years back when toy RC copters were just becoming popular, the kludgiest self-righting unit could sell for $100's, and reviews were always comparing their self-righting capabilities and ease of use. Nowadays, the RC gyro units go for pocket money, and the user-friendliness of gyro-copters compared to an RC plane is like WSIWYG vs. LaTeX.

      Now you couple that evolution with the task at hand (taking good pictures/video w.r.t. VTOL vs. Hand Launch, Hover vs. Fly By), and you immediately begin to see why it's taking off (haha!).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is earth shattering the way everything in the industrial era is earth shattering. That is, it's the mass manufacture of an object with a more convenient packaging and simpler user experience. In this case, the more convenient packaging largely has to do with better avionics (the VTOLs can stay stationary in mid air even in heavy cross winds) and a much longer flight time (better batteries, something we've been building up to for some years).

      Yes, a hobbyist could have built this crap 10 years ago, using

  • by bughunter (10093) <.ten.knilhtrae. .ta. .retnuhgub.> on Monday May 28, 2012 @11:39PM (#40139383) Journal

    You hear a lot of hyperbole lately from across the political spectrum bemoaning dire consequences from the use of UAVs. But having worked for a UAV manufacturer in the past, I know with certainty that they are preparing many flavors of unmanned systems for civil and commercial uses. Land management, asset management, traffic reporting, forestry, mining, oceanography, geology, communications, medevac, and cargo applications are just a few of the things that they could do... and will one day.

    However, the only people now with enough money to purchase them are military customers. Thats why almost all of the UAVs out there are military ones.

    • I know with certainty that they are preparing many flavors of unmanned systems for civil and commercial uses. Land management, asset management, traffic reporting, forestry, mining, oceanography, geology, communications, medevac, and cargo applications are just a few of the things that they could do...

      Let me know when I can use one to pick up chicks then I'll be interested

  • by pitchpipe (708843) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @12:28AM (#40139547)
    The use of an UAV for stockpile monitoring sounds like a bit of hype to me. Stockpiles are constantly changing not only in size, but in shape as well. Hence, they need to be constantly monitored. Show me an UAV that can constantly monitor a stockpile in real time 24/7, then we'll talk.
    • Show me an UAV that can constantly monitor a stockpile in real time 24/7, then we'll talk.

      Several units working in shifts?

    • by Dr Max (1696200)
      Airship uav maybe.
    • The use of an UAV for stockpile monitoring sounds like a bit of hype to me. Stockpiles are constantly changing not only in size, but in shape as well. Hence, they need to be constantly monitored. Show me an UAV that can constantly monitor a stockpile in real time 24/7, then we'll talk.

      Maybe there are plenty of stockpiles around the world that don't need to be monitored every minute of every day.

  • I hear Iran is now in the business of building US Non Us built UAV...

    But on a more serious not, I can only understand this. With the export of an UAV, you also export enough paper work for two full time jobs.

  • I think people have lot of time commenting on random stuff (me included lol)

  • 1 click order on HobbyKing and a make 100 Zaphyrs, and bingo , you have a army of planes, all for less than $1k per plane.

    diydrones.com too has great gear.

    basically, any product you want, 3 minutes google, and you have it, unless you want UAVs with tasers+shotguns and gas powered engines for Terminator style attacks

  • There is also a trend towards non U.S.-built UAVs, due to the lag in receiving export approvals for the aircraft and spare parts."

    Why is there an expectation that people would buy product from some particular country, particularly if that country has severe restrictions on export? Is this "U.S." place going to get used to being in a free market one day?

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