Algorithm for mine blasting wins innovation award

An algorithm that can analyze large amounts of geological image data and streamline mine blasting won first prize in DTU’s accelerator program for start-ups.

A concept for precision blasting received the first prize of DKK 25,000 in DTU’s program for accelerating the development of startup projects, DTU Skylab Ignite. The concept was developed by DTU students in the start-up company, Innolidix, who have developed an algorithm that can analyze data from drone images and using machine learning, AI, to streamline mine blasting and extraction of raw materials.

Two of the four founders of Innolidix, Seeyar Amiri and Niklas Karlin, who are enrolled in the Master’s degree in Technological and Entrepreneurship and the Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering, Management and Technology management DTU, respectively, received the first prize in a cloud of gold confetti in DTU’s innovation hub DTU Skylab. The prize, donated by Christian Nielsen’s Foundation, they will invest in a more advanced sensor to take drone photos and use to market their solution.

“We have a letter of intent from a tunneling company in Norway. If we, with our technology can perform better analysis of their blasting sites, both before and after blasting, than they can, then they will let us monitor their blasting and use the data to improve our data models. Our estimate is that our AI can increase efficiency by five percent in a small or medium-sized mine. Hence, it can provide an average Scandinavian mining site savings of up to 50 million DKK per year.” says Seeyar Amiri.

Virtual fieldwork

Innolidix’s concept is to use artificial intelligence, AI, and machine learning in order to process large amounts of data from a Lidar sensor, which mounted on a drone, can provide data on the geology of a mining area. The Lidar sensor is similar to radar technology, but is based on light instead of sound. Mounted on drones, rotating laser scanners measure more than 10,000 dots per second, delivering photos that contain digital data that can be converted to virtual 3D maps of the terrain. Each pixel in the image contains information about minerals and rocks in which geologists can perform a virtual fieldwork.

The first prize was presented by senior consultant Dorte Krogh from the consulting firm Living Institute, who had been blown away by Innolidix’s presentation.

“The first word that came to my mind was “blast”. You have a strong machine learning concept and a very clear value chain. You will test your technology abroad and you have a clear vision for your potential on the international market,” said Dorte Krogh.

Awards to food-projects

A total of nine startup projects competed for tonight’s awards. In addition to the first prize, a runner up prize of DKK 15,000 was given to the startup project Incider, which has developed a prototype for an intelligent apple cider brewing device that can be used in private homes. Tonight’s third prize, the audience’s favorite, of DKK 10,000 went to the startup project Høst, which has developed a concept for preserving fruit using UV radiation.

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