Jump to content

Minelab Augmented Reality Detector And Maybe Drone/remote Based Detecting In The Works? (not A Joke)


Recommended Posts

https://patents.google.com/patent/WO2021016649A1/en?assignee=minelab&scholar&oq=minelab&sort=new

This is the most out of this world Minelab detector patent I've ever read. There is so much here, some very sci-fi like, I don't even know where to start. My takeaway is they seem to be positioning themselves for a drone based detector eventually (main details in this patent could be easily transferred to a drone based platform - IMU, GPS, magnetometer, heads up display, FPV, remote control, robotic/vehicle mount, etc) . That is 100% a guess. But in the meantime, there is some interesting, novel items in the pipeline that we might actually see on a machine in closer future?

No clue if this is a coin machine or gold machine or if it's something they are actually working on right now or just trying to get control patents on such things for the future which may or may not arrive. One thing is for certain, Minelab is BUSY in the engineering department. A few of the highlights:

  • Heads up display over glasses/head mounted display (aka augmented reality). Settings, target visualization, shading of detected/not detected areas (I asked for this specifically 5 or 6 years ago here, awesome to see it in a patent now). Plus a camera showing the coil (why would you need that if not operating remotely as from a drone?)
  • The detector has a camera, IMU (accelerometer) and magnetometer to determine position with accuracy.
  • The IMU tracks the position of the coil in real time in relation to both the ground and the target, and combined with the camera video feed will provide a "visual" of the target in the ground through the glasses/head display, as in form of a heat map which increases accuracy with each pass of a coil over the target. A GPS tracks the machine position to properly map the IMU/coil visual target data on the ground and let's a user see the mapping as they detect. This data is recorded for future historical use and can be shared. 
  • Centimeter accuracy with the visual target heat mapping.
  • Potential operators/users include entities other than humans such as "robots" and "an AI (artificial intelligence) using a metal detector" and this line: "The metal detector may be handheld, mounted on a robotic arm of a vehicle or a robot." 
  • Wireless connectivity to computers and phones, transfer of files containing settings configurations from instructors or expert users
  • Remote control of the metal detector through apps on laptops or phones
  • Ability to upload maps, including detecting data, historic human activity, buildings, or other items that seem to indicate custom mapping capability
  • Internet connectivity, potential control through the internet (again, why if not for a drone type device?)
  • "Teamspeak" to other detecting members in the area wirelessly
  • Visual/spatial discrimination
  • Accurate depth measurement
  • Synthesized audio mode, eliminating noise completely and allowing the detector to "recreate" a synthetic audio stream based on data from prior swings
  • Delayed audio processing (enhanced audio) mode or real time audio mode, ability to seperate multiple close targets, reason for this I venture a guess why below --->

This patent actually seems to be describing a completely new method of RX in a detector. Which is actually similar in some ways to the wacky idea I had years ago of reducing EMI/ground noise by emulating a radio telescope array. But in this case they appear to be describing a fairly ingenuous method of doing something similar with only one coil by monitoring RX of the same target at different points in the swing (with the IMU tracking these points) and combining all those RX signals. In this way (and this is my guess, the patent doesn't explain this), you can form a sort of comparator, gradiometer, or interferometer to seperate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. If that's what they are doing, then I find it to be brilliant. If not, then I just gave them one hell of an idea to patent for the future. :laugh:

That probably sounds like jibberish to non-engineers. But I want people to understand the brilliance in simple terms. Consider this: EMI is random. At any given point in your swing you'll get noise here, but not there. So if you compare two points in the same swing, you will hear noise one point but not the other point because the "zap" already ended. But you might hear a good target at both points in the swing since it's not random like EMI, it's always there in the ground. So, you can effectively eliminate EMI by comparing what signal is not there at two very close points in the swing, and keep the target since it's always there.

Similarly, with ground, the ground changes as the alluvium changes since soil is inhomogeneous. But a target is still the target. So, a similar method can be applied to the ground.

In theory, you could use ideas like this to essentially get rid of the Difficult type timings and keep your gains boosted high, and deal with EMI/ground in this way instead which does not require reducing sensitivity. A totally new, novel approach to RX in a metal detector. The audio processing is very slightly delayed because they are using that time to compare measurements at a few different coil positions before letting the audio processor signal that there is a target present. That's my guess. If that isn't what they are doing, then someone else should patent that and thank me for it later when Minelab buys it. Either way, they have something totally new in the RX department here. And the future of detecting looks bright and interesting to me still.

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

How far will the electric drive and metal bit have to be above the coil?????

Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn Jason!  This is definitely above my pay grade.  I will wait for the reviews 🤣🤣🤣

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like it could have military counter-mine applications as well.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Minelab is smart about coming up with ideas and patenting them well in advance, even for stuff they may never do. It costs a lot of money, but it does act to block the competition. White's wanted wireless data exchange for the V3 series, but Minelab saw far enough ahead to have patented that already, so they shut White's down on it. A lot of this looks like a basket full of ideas that Minelab can now claim as theirs only. What comes of any of it, who knows. Remote detecting on Mars? Might be a genuine application.

https://www.detectorprospector.com/forums/topic/15738-gold-on-mars/

Heads up display with all previous mapped finds overplayed on your field of vision, how cool would that be for gold prospecting? A map overlay showing fault lines just by looking around? Could be amazing.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone already has a hobbyist drone you can get a jump on things - minus the detector - by mounting a FLIR camera. Or, there is the option to just buy an already equipped drone - DJI and a few other brands sell these.  

This makes it remarkably easy to find adits to mines and cave entrances as they stand out like dark blobs due to air temperature variance on hot days - it works best if you have a really good day-->night temperature swing. Finding undocumented mines sometimes will put you on top of gold. 🚁

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/1368/3/032032/pdf

https://www.flir-direct.com/product/flir-436-0020-00-vue-pro-r-radiometric-thermal-camera-with-9-mm-lens-for-drones

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a very cheap IR camera I found even cheaper on sale and decided I needed to figure out how to use thermal imagery in prospecting somehow, in mostly as yet to be determined ways. :laugh:

It wouldn't be good for a drone since no remote control, but it's an inexpensive intro thermal camera to learn with for anyone looking to dabble.

image.png.9429d9c40fd27aa5fcc4797c9d9dc45a.png

You can see it's sensitive enough to see the heat left behind by my foot on the floor after I lifted my foot.

The main experiment I want to try this summer is to look for large nephrite jade boulders buried in alluvium. Theory being the jade boulders retain heat longer than the soil. Or maybe vice versa depending on material and water content of the ground. Hoping a large boulder buried just out of sight will leave a subtle heat signature at the top of the ground such as you can see with the faint heat left behind by my foot.

 

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve, you and I should get one of these remote control GPX 6000AT’s for our gimpy days, my knees and your hip will appreciate the break from walking! 🤣

https://www.ebay.com/itm/X4-Rover-Remote-Control-Metal-Detector-/372665708578?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Steve Herschbach
      This is actually connected to detecting if you bear with me. It especially explains my audio tuning style. I dedicate this post to my wife, who knows me better than I know myself, but who for some reason has put up with me now for over 30 years.
      Anyone that follows me for a long time on the forums may note that I appear to be a different person at times. I can be incredibly patient, but sometimes very short. People who know me more wonder how I have the time to do the things I do sometimes. I always seem to have many diverse balls in the air at once. And then there is me demanding peace and quiet on the forum. That’s me managing my inputs.
      This is not an official diagnoses, but I do have many of the symptoms that point to adult ADHD, with Bipolar I / Unipolar Mania as a weak possibility, as there is overlap, and debate over that overlap. ADHD fits best as my symptoms are induced by my environment, and I lack a depressive state. I think it is more complex than that in my case, but it's enough to go with for the purposes of this post. I’ll say right now don’t let any of this be a bummer. It has caused me difficulties in life, but like many similar people, I would never want this to be taken away. I understand myself now, and with that knowledge I manage my life much better. I did have to give up drinking, as I was self medicating. Retirement helped a lot, as the key for me seems to be to manage my inputs. Too many inputs leads to a scatterbrained condition where I bounce off the walls and won’t shut up.  Different levels of mania can kick in, and I drive my wife crazy. It’s funny for a few hours. Days or weeks not so much. However, it can be a gift. I am at my most creative when my brain is firing off like crazy, but it’s a bit scary, kind of like the wheels are coming off the cart. The easiest way to spot it is I just won’t shut up. Many of my extremely long in depth posts come from here. Unfortunately sleeplessness and irritability are part of it, as I’m hypersensitive and overreactive, literally like a motor firing off randomly, and out of sequence. It’s seductive but a bit dangerous. I’m coming down off one of these right now, but was happy as I predicted it this time, and was waiting for it. Finally got the triggers figured out.  Anyone still reading this, I use CBT to manage things, and it is a lifesaver if applied steadily. I think this post is symptomatic actually… too much sharing!  So yeah, still winding down. I’ve been posting and deleting said posts erratically, and I’m a bit on edge.
      There is the other part though, and just today I suddenly realized, duh, it’s my detecting superpower. That is my ability to hyperfocus. If things do not interest me, it’s almost impossible for me to do them. Painful actually. But if I’m interested, I can dive very deep, and for a very long time. Too many inputs makes me scatterbrained. Literally. So heaven is one input, something I can focus on to the exclusion of everything else. I love complex singular goals. I loved coding before it was a thing as it is all consuming and pure logic. Or tell me to build a 50 node computer network. I’m addicted to “flow”, where time disappears, and I am fully in the task, so things that stretch my abilities are best, as I have to fully engage. I’ve done some pretty amazing stuff in retrospect, but it’s because those things became obsessions for up to seven years. It’s cycled enough times now I see it. It lets me hide from the world.
      Detecting provides a repetitive motion, and a singular audio input that I can lock into for amazing lengths of time. I always max the audio. If I’m using tones it will be full tones. If nugget detecting I run extremely hot and noisy. I have lots of people say they can’t run detectors like that, but I am just the opposite. I can’t stand a quiet detector. I like hearing everything, and I always ride the edge to purposefully create full audio feedback of not only targets, but the ground. My brain locks on and all that noise you all hear is for me the detector talking to me. There is a pattern to the noise, I learn the pattern, and then breaks in the pattern stop me. I often get what I call “imaginary targets” where I do not know what stopped me. I might go a couple paces even before I stop, and go back. I run the volume very low as it is not the signal intensity I am listening to, but the entire flow of the sound. People are trying to tune the audio for their mind. I’m adjusting my mind to the audio.
      I can listen to this for 12 hours a day, for 30 days in a row, and never be bored, but engaged for every moment. Steve’s Insanely Hot Settings are textbook Steve style for any machine I run. If the machine is silent, I can’t focus as well. I’ll start thinking about something. Flow is particularly useful for wandering around, as I seem to tap into the whole of my 50 years of prospecting experience when I’m in that state. It’s what makes me go right instead of left. When it all comes together it can get a little spooky almost. That’s one part that gets lost when I grid. I’m replacing that instinct with a brute force method. I want to go back to patch hunting, as it favors this particular state, and is the type of detecting I enjoy most.
      I prefer to hunt alone, because I do not like to waste time moving. A perfect hunt for me is two weeks of 12 hour days, by myself, in one spot. Nobody to distract me, no suggestions we move here or go there. Just drop into low and slow take the place apart methodically hour after hour, day after day. A day is over before it starts as long as I can get into the flow, and it’s a state I enter easily if the subject engages me.
      This all came to mind when I was telling somebody I like running detectors more than finding things. I almost never park detect unless I am detector testing. I dig everything, and again am fully engaged in the audio, analyzing targets. Hmm, what’s that? Sounds like a bottle cap. Cool, it’s a bottle cap. What’s that? Sounds like a pull tab. Awesome, pulltab. I just don’t care, I’m enjoying it. I’m learning the detector, and I enjoy that as an activity in itself. I want to learn it’s language. Oooooo… sounds like a silver dime. Dopamine hit! ADHD has roots in dopamine deficiency, so I’m basically a dopamine addict. I’m literally addicted to the process of detecting.
      I had the opportunity to watch a lot of people detect for gold at Ganes Creek and Moore Creek in Alaska. What I observed was most people want to find gold with a metal detector, but they find detecting itself boring. They are doomed. They can’t stay engaged, and are literally missing targets because their head is anywhere but in that audio. They wander around in a daze, going through the motions, because they were told they have to do these things to find gold. The coil will often be way off the ground. These folks basically can’t find gold with a metal detector, unless the nugget bangs out hard. They tend to find lots of trash, but no gold.
      I can usually pick the good detectorists out. They tend to move slower. The coil control is spot on all the time. They are not just swinging, they are actively engaged with the coil as an extension of their body. The audio is a true extension of their ears. The focus is visible.
      I’ve never really hunted with Lunk enough to know this, but I always knew his secret. He hunts alone for long hours, and I’d bet bottom dollar on extreme patience and focus. Not the settings. We use opposite settings to get similar results. I am pretty darn sure that the reason why so few detectorists are producing the bulk of the finds is their ability to focus is not normal. Normal people are bored by detecting itself as an activity, and without constant “good” finds, get bored easily, and quit. We don’t get bored by detecting, and I’m an extreme example. It’s therapy and meditation rolled into one.
      I’m at that point in life where I don’t care much what people think about me, but understand why most people want to conceal such things. But I am genuinely curious. How many of you prefer to hunt alone? Are introverted, or have other personality quirks that are strengths when it comes to detecting? I do suspect the ability to hyperfocus, or achieve flow for long periods, is a key to all this, but due to the nature of the subject it gets reported as “he is really good at detecting”. I’ve told people for ages I have no secret settings. My settings are probably not what most people should use, because they are not for a normal mind.
      If I am right, there may be a reason why some of us are really good at this stuff, while others never are able to “get into it.” No matter how hard you try, if detecting does not genuinely engage you at some level, I do not know how you can ever get to the next level. It really is just going though the motions, and there is far more to detecting than having the same settings, and going though the motions. You have to be engaged, and you have to have lots of patience. When I am on top of my game, I have near infinite reserves of those two things I can draw on.
      How about you?
      https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-symptoms-hyperfocus-attention/
       
    • By Tnsharpshooter
      See NASA-Tom’s comments
      https://www.dankowskidetectors.com/discussions/read.php?2,181189
    • By Tnsharpshooter
      Don’t know any other better subforum to place this.
      When manufacturers design make sure platform can allow at least 2 software versions or at the very least allow what I call both newer version update (whole) and a older subset (portion of older version) to be used.  
      Why?
      Makes testing easier if and when a newer version is designed and requires pre release testing in the field for validation.   Would allow users after version release to use different versions and gain first hand feedback of the benefits or lack thereof of different versions or version subset(s).  Case in point.  Notice Minelab left old iron bias to be user selected when they released newer version with iron bias F2 option.  
      So in a nutshell this allows the detector versions ( or version subset) to be compared to the themselves in the field by the user.
      Xp should have done this too.  They should have designed Deus imo where at least  2 complete version allowed to be uploaded to unit.
      Notice the later released Ace Apex.  Garrett should have allowed on it too.  
      Don’t know what added production cost this would cause.  Hopefully not much.
       
    • By Northeast
      This was mentioned by geof_junk in another thread and had a little Google.  
       
      Found this  https://www.phys.k-state.edu/reu2011/nnorvell/Metal_Detector_Research.html
      I don’t really understand the technical side of metal detectors.  Does this have any application to current day detectors?  Will it help cancel out ground noise more?  Will the current crossing/not crossing the ‘bridge’ tell you something about what is under one of the receive coils.  
       
      Although I don’t understand it, I am amazed and a little in awe of those that do  👍
    • By GB_Amateur
      This is a topic relevant to every(?) form of detecting -- ground coverage.  I'll list several questions concerns I've had but any replies of course aren't limited to these, nor do they need to address  any of them.  Just tossing out some ideas to prompt further discussion.
      1) What methods and efforts do you apply to ensure full ground coverage in the cases where that is one of your goals?
      2) Is your sweep a straight line path or an arc?
      3) How long is your sweep?
      4) How much do you overlap consecutive sweeps in the direction you walk?
      5) How much do you overlap side-to-side swings when following parallel paths (e.g. when walking two side-by-side swaths in the same direction how much does the left end of one path overlap the right end of the next path or vice-versa)?
      6) Have you ever measured your coverage?  How well do detectors with GPS (e.g. Minelab GPZ-7000 and Minelab CTX-3030) monitor ground coverage to this detail?  Have you used other devices to measure ground coverage.  E.g. I can imagine a drone with camera could provide useful data.  Are there smartphones app that would help quantify coverage?
       
    • By nebulanoodle
      Just dreaming...
      What'dya think? Minelab technology going on the next moon mission?
      X6 must be space-worthy.
×
×
  • Create New...