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Less Face Time! Cambrian R&D, NSS Canada Partner on Augmented Reality Mining Hardhat Project to Boost Mining Safety

Posted on Tuesday August 30, 2022

Members of Cambrian R&D and NSS Canada at the NORCAT Underground Training Centre in Levack, Ontario. Cambrian R&D and NSS Canada are partnering on a project to build a special harness to allow a standard miner’s hardhats to accommodate an Augmented Reality (AR) headset, linked to a tablet, to make mining safer and more efficient.

SUDBURY – Underground mining could get a little safer, thanks to a new research project involving NSS Canada and Cambrian R&D.

The company and Cambrian College’s Applied Research division have teamed up to supplement the standard underground mining hardhat to accommodate augmented reality (AR) technology.

NSS wants to install the Microsoft HoloLens 2 AR system on the hardhats of clients who work underground. But the harness for the system doesn’t work with a standard mining hardhat.

“Right now, the harness we have for the HoloLens 2 system only works on helmets that are meant for surface work, and are not suitable for underground,” explains Bruno Lalonde, President of NSS Canada. “A miner’s helmet has a front brim, a bracket for a cap lamp, and special mountings for ear protection. There is no harness for the HoloLens that works for that configuration, and in fact the stock harnesses interfere with those safety functions, so we need a solution, and that’s why we approached Cambrian R&D given our working relationship with them.”

Developing a harness that allows the HoloLens 2 system to be attached to a standard miner’s helmet could make underground mining safer, according to Cambrian R&D.

“The AR system could make underground mining safer by allowing miners to operate machinery at a greater distance away from the mining face, reducing the risk of being hit by falling or flying rock or other debris,” says Dr. Mike Commito, Director of Cambrian R&D. “We’re very excited to see what we can come up with, because a small harness might have big implications for the use of AR underground and mining safety in the process.”

The project will begin in September, with a first prototype expected within two months.

Students and faculty in a number of Cambrian College programs will be part of this research project, helping to manufacture the prototype. All of Cambrian’s R&D projects with industry include paid student researchers and faculty.

Benjamin Ratala of NSS Canada (right) demonstrates the Hololens Augmented Reality headset, along with Cody Cacciotti (left) of Cambrian R&D. Cambrian R&D and NSS Canada have partnered on a project to build a special harness to allow a standard miner’s hardhats to accommodate an Augmented Reality (AR) headset, , linked to a tablet, to make mining safer and more efficient.

“We love working with Cambrian R&D because they have the facilities and expertise to help us solve our real-world problems in real-time,” adds Bruno Lalonde of NSS Canada. “It also gives us the opportunity, as a company, to find and recruit new talent.”

To learn more about Cambrian R&D, visit,
To learn more about NSS Canada, visit

Cambrian College is Northern Ontario’s largest college, with more than 90 programs. Cambrian’s main campus is in Greater Sudbury, with satellite centres in Espanola and Little Current. For more information about Cambrian College, visit

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 We acknowledge and respect that we are gathered on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe People of Turtle Island and proudly recognize our local host Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. We also recognize the contributions of Wahnapitae First Nation and the Metis Nation of Ontario.

Media contact:
Dan Lessard
Manager, Communications
705-566-8101, extension 6302
705-929-0786 c


Shields Up! Cambrian College Prepares for Full Return To Varsity Sports

Posted on Friday August 26, 2022

SUDBURY –  Most colleges in Ontario will be returning to a full campus experience this September, and that means varsity sports are back as well.

The Cambrian College Golden Shield are ready to play!

“We’re excited to …

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