Mining Systems Laboratory

Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Area(s) of Expertise

MSL is a multidisciplinary research facility that supports field robotics and systems automation R&D for the mining and exploration industries. MSL’s research equipment includes a host of mobile robot platforms and associated software, from small robots to access challenging environments (e.g. Husky A200 ground vehicle and AscTec Pelican UAV) to automation-ready full-scale machines. MSL’s Kubota robotic R520S wheel loader and robotic RTV900XT utility truck are both diesel-powered and hydraulically actuated robotic vehicles. They are suitable for machine robotics and automation R&D at both surface and underground mining operations and at Queen’s own field-testing sites near Kingston. All MSL platforms have access to a range of IP-rated sensors, including several SICK LMS scanning laser rangefinders, a SwissRanger TOF camera, a Velodyne LiDAR, high-accuracy GPS systems, high-quality IMUs, Wi-Fi and RFID communications and other specialized sensing equipment.

What the facility does

Mining systems and field robotics

Research Services

Field robotics, mining systems integration, perception and navigation algorithms, control systems design, system prototyping, robotics software development, modelling and simulation, mine site assessments and field studies

Sectors of Application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
  • Mining, minerals and metals

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment in use

Description of function

Mining Systems Laboratory

Robotic Kubota R520S wheel loader

Fully equipped with a host of sensors (e.g. LiDAR, GPS, IMU, odometry) and communications systems, as well as robot control software


Robotic Kubota RTV900XT utility truck

Fully equipped with a host of sensors (e.g. LiDAR, GPS, IMU, odometry) and communications systems, as well as robot control software


Clearpath Husky mobile robot

Fully customizable for deployment with any configuration of sensors


AscTec Pelican UAV

Equipped with monocular camera and LiDAR sensors

Mining Systems Laboratory at the Queen’s Mining Field Test Site

Queen’s Mining’s Field Test Site provides space for field equipment preparation and outdoor testing, especially for large mobile equipment

MSL has access to tens of acres of outdoor testing grounds near Verona, Ontario, including an indoor workshop and a garage bay, as well as outdoor muck piles and rough terrain for pre-field prototyping and testing

Mining Systems Laboratory at Jackson Hall

Prototyping, office, and computer-based simulation space

MSL’s research laboratory is equipped with mechatronics workstations, mobile computing equipment and indoor development space in Jackson Hall on Queen’s main campus

  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Clearpath Robotics
  • Altas Copco Rock Drills AB
  • Peck Tech Consulting
  • Cameco Corporation
  • Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG)
  • MDA Space Missions
  • European Space Agency
  • Ontario Government
  • Mitacs
  • CPSX
  • NSERC Canadian Field Robotics Network (NCFRN)