In Pretoria, a group of young data science students developed a system called “Rock Pulse”. It is an early warning and monitoring system that detects the stability of rocks in mines and reduces the risk of mining accidents. A device that could help prevent mine deaths.

RockPulse is another robot developed by the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and presented at the Mining Indaba which is currently being held in Cape Town, South Africa, from February 5 to 8, 2018.

The robot works by collecting underground data and interpreting that data to raise an alarm if a potential danger is detected, said Veronica Mohapeloa, spokesperson for the Department of Science and Technology.

The students are part of a group of participants in the Data Science for Impact and Decision Enablement (DSIDE) program, which is funded by the Department of Science and Technology, said Mohapeloa. Fifty students from South Africa have been recruited to take part in this year’s program, she added.

Nicolene Roux, one of the science students who developed the system, confirmed that her team was confident in the technology, but that improvements were still needed. “We realized that technology couldn’t tell the difference between an artificial sound and an uncreated sound, that’s where we have to improve because you don’t want a false trigger to negatively affect the mine production, ”said the young scientist.


Indeed, South Africa’s mines are considered to be one of the most dangerous working environments in the country, due to rock explosions and seismic activity that cause deaths and injuries.

The RockPulse mechanism

The RockPulse monitoring system is tested by the CSIR. According to these, RockPulse is capable of listening to raw micro-seismicity, extracting characteristics of micro-fractures and analyzing the resulting series of characteristics in order to quickly detect the large instabilities that occur in the mass. rocky.

Continuous, real-time monitoring of instabilities and also optimizes safe reintroduction times after dangerous events. This is particularly important considering how sometimes in South Africa, due to seismic activity.

In addition, other technologies will also be on display at Mining Indaba developed by the CSIR. These include the inspection system, the collision prevention system, occupational health and technological ergonomics solutions.

Remember that the Mining Indaba has been organized in South Africa for two decades. Its goal is to support education, career development, sustainable development, and other important causes related to the exploitation of mineral resources on the continent.


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