The challenge of creating a solution that avoids mining transcripts

If you don't work in the field, you probably don't know that once they collect information, geologists have to input data manually into data management software.

But some mining companies don't want their experts to do that anymore and developers are hearing them loud and clear.

Down Under, students at the University of Western Australia have engaged in a 12-week challenge to come up with a solution to solve such a problem.

With the support of tech company Micromine, Computer Science students are being asked to develop a software that allows a camera to take images of LCD screens, such as those in scales, hardness testers, GPS, thermometers and other measuring instruments, and use the visual cues, such as the edges of the display, to orientate and extract a value or values from the images.

The values would then be used directly by the software to create datasets, which would make the manual transcription of the values no longer necessary.

"Integration is a big focus for the mining industry at present and simplifying some of the processes involved with integrating different systems on site is key to realising the value it can bring to an organisation,” Micromine’s Geobank Technical Product Manager, Derek Vincent, said in a media statement. "Finding ways to automate the process of on-boarding third-party devices to Geobank has the potential to save significant amounts of development work," he added.

The challenge is called “Automated value recognition from an image of an LCD display" and it is being undertaken by third-year students.