Organiser of Transform Mining, Unearthed, says Komatsu has shown itself to be a strong supporter of the mining technology hackathon concept, backing up participation in the Brisbane event with invitations to winners to continue the dialogue on their ideas.
Unearthed industry lead Dom Hardy said the meeting was the first real conversation between a global heavy machinery manufacturer and cutting-edge mining technology start-ups.
"Komatsu are committed to being the first big customer and validating the technology of as many relevant start-ups, as quickly as possible. Different engagement models have been drafted depending on the maturity of the start-up and Komatsu's willingness to genuinely collaborate with many participating teams has been evidenced as swiftly as meetings and site invitations one day post event," Hardy said.
Fourteen start-ups took part in the Komatsu: Transform Mining event, showcasing their technology and applying it to one or more of Komatsu's four mining challenges, and pitching their engagement models.
Komatsu general manager Ryoichi Togashi said the hackathon was an "exciting experience".
"We have already commenced discussions with multiple start-ups as to how we can collaborate to deliver these disruptive technologies," he said.
Those to most impress the judges were PETRA Data Science with its ShovelVision AI prototypes, Team Ad Hoc (including members of predictive biometric monitoring start-up Canaria), and Chilean start-up InDiMin, which pitched Smart Mining Coach - a digital personal trainer for operators to increase behavioural productivity.
"It has been a very interesting experience, because there are a lot of start-ups here with huge value propositions and the level of the guys from Komatsu Japan, USA and Australia has been amazing," said InDiMin CIO and co-founder Loreto Acevedo.
"We don't have the resources to create these types of meetings and we have learnt so much, both from Komatsu and from the other start-ups."