A new approach in soil sampling methods: an innovative solution designed to change the field completely. It combines advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, self-operating sampling, and immediate soil analysis to make operations thorough and efficient.
NOMAD, developed in partnership with ERG, is a robotic system to autonomously drill, sample, store and analyze soil sampling for geological exploration. It was developed to operate in difficult landscapes, like those in Saudi Arabia, thanks to its advanced technology inspired by space exploration. Its special design includes a system that lets it move across rough terrain, sensors for quickly analyzing soil samples, and a powerful drill for collecting samples from deep underground.
Challenges and Objectives:
The main goal is to improve accuracy and efficiency in soil sampling. Traditional ways are usually slow, use a lot of resources, and can be risky for people. NOMAD works to speed up the sampling process, make it more precise, and make it safer.
“Navigating the Kingdom’s complex terrain, with its extreme conditions and rugged landscapes, poses a core challenge for mineral explorers. The terrain in the areas tested comprised shallow cover over residual regolith and proved the suitability of implementing NOMAD in the region perfectly. The robot excelled in boosting operational efficiency by an astounding 400% compared to conventional manual exploration methods.” said Aaron Baensch, Head of ERG Technology Intelligence. Read the full ERG article here.
NOMAD’s Advanced Features:
- Innovative Navigation System: NOMAD is equipped with a cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system that provides exceptional mobility across diverse and challenging terrains, particularly in the demanding landscapes of Saudi Arabia. This semi-autonomous navigation system allows NOMAD to traverse uneven surfaces, steep inclines, and rocky areas, ensuring reliable and efficient sample collection in a variety of environments.
- Multi-Sensor Platform for Rapid Analysis: One of NOMAD’s standout features is its integrated multi-sensor platform. This array includes sophisticated instruments capable of scanning soil samples quickly and accurately. The sensors are designed to analyze various aspects of the samples, such as their chemical composition and mineral content. This technology enables a comprehensive understanding of the geological conditions, facilitating more informed decision-making in exploration efforts.
- Enhanced Drilling Capability: The rover boasts a powerful percussion soil drill that can penetrate up to 90 cm below the earth’s surface. This capability allows for deeper soil sampling, crucial for accessing and analyzing sub-surface mineral deposits. The efficient drilling mechanism of NOMAD significantly increases sample collection rates, achieving over 120 samples per day, a remarkable improvement over traditional manual sampling methods.
Cutting-edge features enabling seamless sampling processes
Soil probe controls, soil storage gantry and waterproof casing:
Control panel for manual operation of the soil sampling probe:
3D Imaging System – AI Stereo Camera (above) and automotive grade LiDAR (below) to make a 3D model of the terrain in front of the rover:
High–speed soil probe – up to 200 grams in 30 seconds at a depth of 90 cm:
Soil sample discard chute – The first 30 centimeters are discarded to avoid surface contamination:
LiDAR on top of the rover maps the surrounding area for path-planning, and pneumatic conveyor (center) lifts soil from the ground to the sample storage sub-system:
Sample tray with individualized containers:
Sampling pod with approximately 200 grams of soil. Each pod contains soil from a single geographic location:
Wireless radio to connect to the base station, in case remote operation is required:
The innovative system developed by SK Godelius in partnership with ERG marks a significant leap in the field of geological exploration, harnessing the power of robotics, AI, and advanced technology to transform soil sampling processes. Whether your challenge lies in soil sampling or any other aspect of robotic systems and technology in mining, SK Godelius offers customized, cutting-edge solutions.
Get in touch with SK Godelius to learn how we can help with your specific needs and improve your projects. Work with us to find the right solutions for your problems in mining and robotics. Contact us now to start making your projects better with new and efficient technologies.