The mining industry is introducing several autonomous mining operations, however the development of these algorithms is extremely expensive. This paper discusses the integration of a Hardware In the Loop (HIL) simulation to earthmoving equipment to aid in the development of autonomous mining operations. The benefit of this simulation is to save time and money for engineers developing the autonomous features. The hardware setup contained machine components that were connected to the Electronic Control Modules (ECMs). The ECMs used in the lab setup were the same as those on the actual tract type tractors. Those ECMs receive input signals based on which they command the solenoids. The HIL simulator converts the analog outputs into digital ones. Then the HIL sends out digital or simulated outputs to the ECMs such as pressure and fuel levels. The results of this work compare simulated data and real machine test data of an autonomous feature. A comparison is presented between the autonomous feature and a human operator. Finally potential of the HIL is demonstrated examining the autonomous feature with different soil conditions.

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