The Mule: A Test Platform for Autonomous Mining Vehicles

For our Engineering Capstone we worked with Maclean Engineering a company which builds mining equipment vehicles for hard rock mining. Maclean tasked us with designing and building a small scale platform for testing their autonomous algorithms for their mining vehicles. This platform named the Mule required these specifications:

  • Carry a payload of 100 lbs
  • Maneuver on steep min ramps.
  • Battery life of atleast 1 hour
  • Operate in wet and humid mine environment

We needed to design and build this with a budget of 10,000 CAD. Maclean wanted the mule since they wanted to test on a small scale platform before testing on their vehicles. Their vehicles, some of which weigh 40 tonnes, would have been dangerous if their algorithms misbehaved.

The Mule can be seen in the videos below. Both our client Maclean Engineering and our professors were happy with the end results. The Mule was awarded 1st place in our Capstone class.

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