Hitachi Construction Machinery Invests in Australian Startup Baraja

Accelerating the Improvement of AHS and Autonomous Operation of Ultra-Large Hydraulic Excavators through Open Innovation.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Invests in Australian Startup Baraja. Source: Hitachi Construction Machinery

Hitachi Construction Machinery announced that the company invested in Australian startup Baraja (Headquarters: Sydney, Australia; “Baraja”). Through its investment in Baraja, Hitachi Construction Machinery will use Baraja’s Spectrum-Scan LiDAR technology to accelerate the pace of development for improvements to the autonomous haulage system (AHS) for mining dump trucks and autonomous operation of ultra-large hydraulic excavators.

In recent years, the trend toward automated, autonomous, and electrified mining machinery has accelerated, and there is a growing need for solutions that streamline and optimize not only mining machinery but also overall mining operations. Against this backdrop, Hitachi Construction Machinery has been strengthening its solutions for the overall mining operations, including the development of AHS and “ConSite Mine”, which helps solve problems at mine sites. To further accelerate this trend, Hitachi Construction Machinery has decided to invest in Baraja, a company that has created and builds Spectrum-Scan LiDAR, a breakthrough technology essential for highly automated operations.

Through this investment, Hitachi Construction Machinery will be able to work closely with Baraja to accelerate the development of Spectrum-Scan LiDAR products with mine site specifications and strengthen local support.

Baraja’s Spectrum-Scan LiDAR uses a prism-like optical sensor head to measure distances to objects in all directions with great resolution and is durable because it has few moving parts in its mechanism. With active contracts in place in mines and expertise in operating in mining environments, it could be efficient to utilize this technological expertise in the development of automation and autonomous operation at Hitachi Construction Machinery.

The Hitachi Construction Machinery Group has long been promoting the “One Hitachi” initiative to bring together a wide range of Hitachi Group technologies and “Open Innovation” to create new value using technologies and services from outside the Group, including the launch of the “Venture Investment Promotion Project” in April 2020 to strengthen collaboration with startups.

Going forward, Hitachi will continue to provide “Solution Linkage” solutions that utilize ICT and IoT called to customers in the mining industry around the world to help them achieve high levels of safety and productivity. Furthermore, Hitachi will accelerate its open innovation activities, including investments with startups that are necessary for its business strategy, such as its recent investment in Baraja.

Source: Hitachi Construction Machinery'
Emanuele Giovannini
Digital marketing specialist, Heavy Equipment journalist.