Robots are replacing humans in the world’s mines. Here’s why.

And just as aerial drones can be flown by pilots thousands of miles away, automated mining operations can be supervised from a distance. “You can operate these robots remotely from halfway across the world,” says Dr. Herman Herman, director of the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. For example, he said, “That will allow people in the Midwest to work and operate mining equipment in Australia.”
Mining automation is already appearing in the form of self-driving ore-carrying vehicles. These monstrous trucks, which use the same suite of technologies seen in other autonomous vehicles, stay on the job virtually 24/7 — with no need for driver breaks or shift changes.