An eye on fatigue

CATERPILLAR has entered into an alliance agreement with Australian-based Seeing Machines to deliver and support operator fatigue monitoring technology through Cat dealers.
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Noel Dyson

Seeing Machines 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 machine operator.

The system will be exclusively distributed to the mining industry through Cat dealers.

The distribution will be phased in, starting with dealers in key mining regions.

Seeing Machines’ driver safety system, a commercial system for mining trucks, is working on more than 20 minesites and 1500 vehicles.

The system continuously measures operator eye and eyelid behaviour to determine the onset of fatigue and micro sleeps and delivers real-time detection and alerts.

Unlike other fatigue monitoring systems, the operator is not required to wear any special equipment.

Additionally, automatic initialisation and calibration of the dash-mounted camera requires no input from the operator.

“The alliance with Seeing Machines is a natural progression of Caterpillar Global Mining’s work to mitigate fatigue issues in mining activities,” Caterpillar Global Mining solutions, technology and marketing general manager Al Frese said.

“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 organisations and research universities.”

The alliance agreement also supports collaboration in future product development.

Seeing Machines chairman Terry Winters said the company looked forward to the growing use of its fatigue monitoring systems and to working jointly with Caterpillar to integrate the technology into Cat MineStar system mine management functions and to develop expanded capabilities for the technology.

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