Norcat and partners unleash 5G underground with SafeSight’s winning technology

The Mining Technology Innovation Challenge, a collaboration between Norcat, Rogers, Dell Technologies, the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), and the Mining Innovation […]
A demonstration of SafeSight’s DeepTraxx-5G and SafeScanner-5G during a staged emergency response was live-streamed from the Norcat Underground Centre. Credit: Norcat

The Mining Technology Innovation Challenge, a collaboration between Norcat, Rogers, Dell Technologies, the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), and the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (MICA), announced the successful conclusion of the Mining Technology Innovation Challenge, powered by Rogers 5G. This initiative aimed to accelerate the application of 5G in the global mining industry, fostering innovation in safety, productivity, and sustainability.

"PDAC always showcases the innovation and diversity of Ontario’s mining, tech and manufacturing sectors," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "Our government congratulates North Bay-based SafeSight in winning the Mining Technology Innovation Challenge with its DeepTraxx and SafeScanner products, which leverage the latest 5G advances to support a safer and more efficient Ontario mining sector."

The challenge encouraged innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs from across Canada to develop underground mining technologies that utilize the capabilities of the Rogers 5G wireless private network at the Rogers Technology Centre of Excellence at the Norcat Underground Centre in Onaping, Ont. The solutions focused on underground safety, productivity, energy efficiency, and environmental impact and leveraged the ultra-low latency on the Rogers 5G network. Out of the 20 proof-of-concept applications submitted, SafeSight Exploration emerged as the challenge winner on May 30, 2024.

SafeSight’s 5G-enabled underground emergency response and mine rescue tool kit, DeepTraxx-5G and SafeScanner-5G, are illuminating a path towards a safer future for the entire industry. The winning technology received $100,000 worth of support, including $25,000 in funding for proof-of-concept development and testing at the Rogers Technology Centre of Excellence.

On Jan. 24, a live demonstration of the SafeSight’s DeepTraxx-5G and SafeScanner-5G was live-streamed from the Norcat Underground Centre, showcasing the success of the challenge. The demonstration simulated a potential thermal runaway on a damaged BEV where employees were trapped underground, due to extreme risk the current protocol for battery fire or thermal runaway underground is to contain and allow the fire burns out before sending in additional support.

Mike Campigotto, president of SafeSight, passionately discussed how the product suite will give emergency response digital leverage. "Our 5G technology can be deployed from surface to gather scene assessment thermal video and 3D mapping in advance of the responders heading underground. In addition, active emergency response video and mapping is shared with command and control in real-time. The result safer and more effective assessment and search and rescue."

The integration of 5G technology in the mining sector holds great promise, offering high-speed connectivity and low-latency capabilities that can significantly enhance safety, communication, productivity, and operational efficiency in underground mines across the globe.

Don Duval, Norcat CEO, expressed enthusiasm, stating, "The Mining Technology Innovation Challenge provided an incredible opportunity for start-ups, entrepreneurs, and problem-solvers to develop innovative technological solutions for the mining sector, strengthening Ontario’s end-to-end supply chain."

"It is great to see a company from Northern Ontario being recognized for leading the way towards an even safer future for the mining industry," said George Pirie, Ontario Minister of Mines. "This is another great example of how the Ontario mining industry puts safety first. Thanks to SafeSight for their unwavering commitment to leveraging modern technology to ensure that everyone comes home safe at the end of every shift, especially the mine rescue teams."

For more from Norcat about the Mining Technology Innovation Challenge, please visit the official Norcat website at https://Norcat.org/innovation/open-innovation/challenges/MINING-INNOVATION-CHALLENGE.html.

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