Caterpillar Global Mining has entered into an alliance agreement with Seeing Machines Limited to deliver and support operator fatigue monitoring technology through Cat Dealers. Seeing Machines, headquartered in Canberra, Australia, has developed fatigue monitoring systems using patented eye and head tracking technology to detect operator fatigue and distraction and to alert the mine controller and the machine operator.
In the coming months, Cat Dealers will be brought onboard as the exclusive distribution channel to the mining industry for the Seeing Machines technology. These capabilities will be phased in starting with dealers in key mining regions.
"The alliance with Seeing Machines is a natural progression of Caterpillar Global Mining's work to mitigate fatigue issues in mining activities," said Al Frese, general manager of solutions, technology and marketing for Caterpillar Global Mining. "For the past 10 years, Caterpillar Global Mining has been raising awareness and industry understanding of the implications of 24/7 shift work on equipment operator performance, distraction and fatigue through industry training programs, such as Managing a Mining Lifestyle, and through partnerships with industry organizations and research universities."
The alliance agreement also supports collaboration in future product development.
"We look forward to growing the use of our fatigue monitoring systems and to working jointly with Caterpillar Global Mining to integrate our technology into Cat MineStar System mine management functions and to develop expanded capabilities for this technology," said Terry Winters, chairman of Seeing Machines.
Seeing Machines' Driver Safety System (DSS), a commercial system for mining trucks, currently is working on more than 20 mine sites and 1,500 vehicles. The system continuously measures operator eye and eyelid behavior to determine the onset of fatigue and micro sleeps and delivers real-time detection and alerts, yet the operator is not required to wear any special equipment. Additionally, automatic initialization and calibration of the dash-mounted camera requires no input from the operator. As a result, the system is transparent to the operator.