The robots are coming: Taking the miner out of mining is the common theme these days as the pace of advance of artificial intelligence quickens, as big data goes from a buzz phrase to business-as-usual, and as the move through semi to full automation continues. Autonomous operation is on all the major mining companies’ innovation roadmaps. At some point down the road, that is where the bulk of the industry will end up. But we have lots of ground to cover and many years of advances to get through, before we get there in a broad sense. How to manage the transition years is the big question, for mining companies and manufacturers alike.