Automatic control of underground vehicles at high speed

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 90, No. 1006, 1997

Martin Piotte, Claude Coache, André Drouin and Philippe Gaultier, Noranda Technology Centre, Pointe Claire, Quebec, and Louis Geoffroy, Electronique Distac

Automatic driving at high speed of an underground truck was tested at Brunswick mine in September 1995. Modifications to the truck included: a remote interface to control actuators, front and back video cameras to follow a roof mounted optical guide and proportional hydraulic controls on the steering. The mathematical model of the hydraulic system was adjusted using least square regression. The steering data, used in calculating the regression parameters, were acquired from the moving truck. The automatic steering control used three measured variables: lateral deviation, angular deviation and steering angle. Lateral deviations are obtained using the cameras, which are in continuous view of the guide, while steering angles are acquired from an extensiometer placed at the articulation point of the vehicle. Gain scheduling was used to compensate for vehicle speed and available hydraulic flow. Non-linear characteristics of the modeled hydraulic system were offset using open loop compensation. Speeds up to 23 km/h in forward direction and 13 km/h in reverse were achieved
Keywords: Automation, Robotics, Technology, Remote-controlled vehicles.