With regards to the low degree of digitization, lack of real geological terrain, and low degree of automation in the cutting process of the traditional virtual fully mechanized mining face, we studied the key technologies of virtual operation and cutting path planning of the shearer on the three-dimensional (3D) roof and floor based on the virtual reality engine (Unity3D). Firstly, the virtual 3D coal seam was constructed through the 3D geological coordinate data of the mine. On this basis, the shape function of the scraper conveyor with the adaptive configuration on the floor was constructed to obtain the combined operation of the virtual shearer and the scraper conveyor. The movement of the shearer’s walking and height-adjustment was then, analyzed. A strategy for automatic height-adjustment based on the adjustment of the direction of the drum movement is hence, proposed to control the cutting path of the shearer. Finally, different experimental schemes were simulated in the developed prototype system after which each of the schemes was evaluated using the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method. The results show that the proposed strategy for trajectory control can improve the accuracy and stability of the shearer’s motion trajectory. In Unity3D, the pre-selected schemes and digital and visual planning of coal production are previewed ahead of time, the whole production process can be mapped synchronously in the production process. It is also obtained that the virtual preview and evaluation of the production process can provide some guidance for actual production.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited