For the subsurface material handling in coal mining manual guided diesel trolley trains in connection with different suspension modules are used predominantly. For the increase of automation the Fraunhofer-Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) aimed to convert a manually handled diesel trolley into an automated transport system.
The principal task of the Fraunhofer IML during the development of a prototype and the subsequent start-up was the implementation of the track system sensor technology as well as the technical improvement of the materials handling.
To meet the special requirements of coal mining, e.g. the demands of firedamp protection and the rough environmental conditions, laser and radar sensors were adapted by a compression-proof capsules. An extensive adaptation of the hydraulic system was made to improve the materials handling. In 2007 the automatic diesel trolley received the research award of the RAG.