Nowadays the digitalization is a global tendency affecting all spheres of human activities, including education and research ones. Following this tendency, TU Bergakademie Freiberg is implementing modern simulation technologies in order to bring about a better understanding by students of mining technologies and techniques, as well as to assist researchers in the development of new solutions for the mining sector.
A recently acquired real-time excavator simulator combines a software enabling the 3D simulation of mining environment and equipment, and a hardware providing the interaction between the operator, machine, and environment in real time. “Our students can now try to perform different mining operations on their own from the position of the operator of a mining machine. It brings a better understanding of the whole mining process”, said the initiator of the project Professor Carsten Drebenstedt, Head of the Surface Mining Department.
The simulator is also used for a conceptual prototyping of mining equipment. “Testing a mining machine of a new design without leaving an office is not a fiction anymore, but a part of our research activities”, noted Dr.-Ing. Taras Shepel, a research associate at the Surface Mining Department. “Of course, the full similarity is not achievable so far due to limited computational resources, but the real-time simulation enables us to gain a lot of useful information in a relatively short time”.
Digital technologies are developing rapidly, gradually expanding possibilities for the real-time simulation. The simulator is planned to be used for the development of new technical solutions for hard rock excavation applications, which is a part of the InnoCrush Project.