Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2019) 36:657–674, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-019-0093-3
Open-source technology to support Industry 4.0 has become the target of academic research in many sectors. This study reviews the trends of open-source technology, its forms, and some industrial applications. As a case study of the use of open-source hardware and software in the mining industry, this study proposed a low-cost environmental monitoring system for nonmetallic underground mines to support mine safety and occupational health. The system was developed using open-source hardware, Arduino and 3D printer, to design the monitoring device, and open-source software, MIT App Inventor, to develop an Android application for smartphones to enable remote communication with the system. Field experiments were conducted at an underground tunnel and a nonmetallic underground mining site to assess the performance of the system in mobile and static modes, respectively. Although a few limitations related to the precision of the low-cost dust and gas sensors exist, the findings of the experiments show that the mining industry can benefit from open-source technology deployment when considering cost factors.