Accelerating the Improvement of AHS and Autonomous Operation of Ultra-Large Hydraulic Excavators through Open Innovation
Tokyo, Japan March 25, 2021 —- Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd (TSE: 6305, “Hitachi Construction Machinery”) announced that the company invested in Australian startup Baraja Pty Ltd (Headquarters: Sydney, Australia; “Baraja”) on March. Through its investment in Baraja, Hitachi Construction Machinery will use Baraja’s Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR* technology to accelerate the pace of development for improvements to the autonomous haulage system (AHS) for mining dump trucks and autonomous operation of ultra-large hydraulic excavators.
In recent years, the trend toward automated, autonomous, and electrified mining machinery has accelerated, and there is a growing need for solutions that streamline and optimize not only mining machinery but also overall mining operations. Against this backdrop, Hitachi Construction Machinery has been strengthening its solutions for the overall mining operations, including the development of AHS and “ConSite® Mine”, which helps solve problems at mine sites. To further accelerate this trend, Hitachi Construction Machinery has decided to invest in Baraja, a company that has created and builds Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR, a breakthrough technology essential for highly automated operations.
Through this investment, Hitachi Construction Machinery will be able to work closely with Baraja to accelerate the development of Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR products with mine site specifications and strengthen local support.
Baraja’s Spectrum-Scan™ LiDAR uses a prism-like optical sensor head to measure distances to objects in all directions with high resolution, and is exceptionally durable because it has few moving parts in its mechanism. With active contracts in place in mines and a great deal of expertise in operating in mining environments, we believe it is optimal to utilize this technological expertise in the development of automation and autonomous operation at Hitachi Construction Machinery.
The Hitachi Construction Machinery Group has long been promoting the “One Hitachi” initiative to bring together a wide range of Hitachi Group technologies and “Open Innovation” to create new value using technologies and services from outside the Group, including the launch of the “Venture Investment Promotion Project” in April 2020 to strengthen collaboration with startups.
Going forward, we will continue to provide “Solution Linkage®” solutions that utilize ICT and IoT called to customers in the mining industry around the world to help them achieve the higher levels of safety and productivity they seek. Furthermore, we will accelerate our open innovation activities, including investments with startups that are necessary for our business strategy, such as our recent investment in Baraja.
* LiDAR…Abbreviation for Light Detection And Ranging. This technology detects the shape of an object and the distance to the object by irradiating the object with a laser beam and capturing the reflected light with a sensor.