update In partnership with a team of CSIRO scientists, Rio Tinto has deployed a remote ship loader as part of its "Mine of the Future" project.
Mining giant Rio Tinto has deployed a remote shiploade at its Pilbara facility.(Credit: Rio Tinto)
The remote loader removes the manual operator from the boom's cockpit. The remote operator is able to manoeuvre the loader through a 180-degree, dome-shaped screen, which simulates the view from the boom.
In the remote cockpit, the operator is given detailed technical information from a series of sensors on the loader itself, providing more information than a manual operator would have access to.
The Mine of the Future project has also seen the deployment of driverless trucks and remote drilling rigs in the Pilbara region.
Update at 9:59am, 14 July 2010: we originally reported that the remote shiploader was operated through Rio Tinto's remote operations centre at a distance of over 1000km away. ZDNet Australia has since been informed that the remote shiploader is controlled on-site, closer to the loader.