Meet Rio Tinto’s World’s First Giant Robot


16th Nov'21

The true creator is a necessity, which is the mother of invention -Aristotle

Humans are curious about knowing and inventing things. When we hear the word Robot, the first thing that strikes our mind is a humanoid machine helping us in various activities and making life easy. Some of you may think there will be a robot that does all housework?

New technologies make things easier and time-saving for us. Even the main motive behind any invention is convenience. Every invention is special, so is Rio Tinto’s much-touted giant robot named ‘AutoHaul’. 

After years of research and innovation, AutoHaul is making history every day by carrying tons of valuable ores to the ports on the coast. Rio Tinto has successfully created AutoHaul, the world’s largest long-distance automatic rail network or the world's largest robot. 


Giant Robot


What is AutoHaul? 

AutoHaul is the name of the autonomous train deployed by Rio Tinto Limited. The train is around two kilometers long and can carry 28,000 tonnes of iron ore. It travels from Tom Price to the port of Cape Lambert. The total distance it can cover is approximately 280 kilometers. 

The train monitors from the Operation Centre in Perth. The center is more than a hundred kilometers away, where the team runs a host of autonomous trains instead of live conductors. The network made sure to check the speed limit of the train and it also looks as if some other train doesn't run into it.

Although, the subways have been running in the busiest cities like New York and Australia with little or no human input. But no one has managed to develop such an effective automatic system. 

Rio Tinto Limited is a global mining corporation, producing iron ore, copper diamonds, gold, and uranium. The reason being innovative AutoHaul is a year by year increase in the demand for iron ore.


The Benefits of AutoHaul 

Talking about the advantages of the train, Lido Costa, the Principal Engineer of the project said“The time-saving benefit of the train is enormous because the train network is a core part of the mining operation. If we can prevent those stoppages, we can keep the network ticking over, allowing more ore to be transported to the ports and shipped off more easily. 

He further added “ The other major reason is safety. We are removing the need to transport drivers. Each year, we have to transport drivers 1.5 Million Kilometres as they change their shifts. This is risky and driverless trains will reduce this risk.  




The Structure of AutoHaul 

The largest robot, AutoHaul is primarily based on Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and European Train Control System ( ETCS). To understand the system it is divided into four segments that are:

  • Communication infrastructure segment

  • Operations center segment

  • Trian-borne segment 

  • Signaling and protection segment 



The Future of robotics is not what you are thinking. The future is much more upgraded and beyond the bubble of imagination. The future is of robots and machines, it will surely impact our lives making it easy and convenient. 


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An explorer who takes risks and learns from her mistakes. An aspirational content writer, studying social work. Kajal loves trying her hands in different crafts.


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