This paper examines the feasibility of automation of dragline bucket excavators used to strip over-burden from open cut mines. In particular the automatic control of bucket carry angle and bucket trajectory are addressed. Open-loop dynamics of a 1:20 scale model dragline bucket are identified, through measurement of frequency response between carry angle and drag motor input voltage. A strategy for automatic control of carry angle is devised and implemented using bucket angle and rate feedback. System compensation and tuning are explained and closed loop frequency and time responses are measured
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