China's coal-rich Shanxi province is encouraging its mining companies to use robots as a replacement for human workers in dangerous jobs, local authorities said Tuesday.
After decades of intensive mining, the major coal-producing province has seen the depth of its coal mines increase with more complex mining conditions, raising the urgency to use more intelligent equipment to reduce safety risks and improve efficiency.
Shanxi has issued a guideline on modernizing its coal mining sector and piloted the use of robots and automated equipment in some coal mines.
In some of the pilot projects, robots have helped slash the production-related accident rate by 10 percent while downsizing the staff engaged in dangerous tasks by 60 percent, according to data from the Department of Industry and Information Technology of Shanxi Province.
Zhang Xiaolei with the department said Shanxi will continue to promote the research, development and application of robots in mining, transportation, safety control and rescue in coal mines.
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