VIDEO: Rio's robot army has been to the moon and back 5 times

Remote mining with autonomous haul trucks is a key component of Rio Tinto's Mine of the Future strategy to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve health, safety and environmental performance.

From a building at Perth airport, world number two miner Rio Tinto manages 15 mines, 43 trains and four ports some 1,500 km from the West Australian capital.

Trials for the autonomous haul truck (AHT) project began as far back as December 2008.

The robot army deployed in the Pilbara region of Western Australia has now moved 200 million tonnes and traveled nearly 4 million kilometers.

Rio is also looking at autonomous drills and after spending $500 million on the project trains will also be remotely controlled from next year.

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