The Bureau of Mines is developing methods and devices that show promise in improving mine safety and increasing productivity. One such area of research is autonomous operation of a mining machine. With autonomous operation workers would be relieved of dangerous tasks, and exposure to hazardous areas would be reduced. Productivity gains could be realized by optimizing machine operation through computer control. Autonomous operation requires integration of many subsystems in the areas of navigation-positioning, computer control, and data acquisition. Our stage of research is solving the navigation and positioning tasks. A combination of devices will be used. A directional gyroscope provides heading (yaw), flux-gate sensors provide a compass heading, and gravity-referenced clinometers give machine tilt and roll information. Methods to reduce the operating limitations of these sensors are developed through an understanding of the sensors and their application to room-and-pillar mining operations. This paper discusses results obtained using a Joy 16cm continuous mining machine at the Bureau of Mines Pittsburgh Research Center. Future areas of work are also discussed.