As the game is in beta, bugs are expected. This is a guide to help work around some of the growing pains with mining drones. This page is as accurate as possible as of game version build ID: 7962638 02 Jan 22.
Drones can often be found in different states and have different troubleshooting steps.
The first thing to note is that "mines" must be built on the planetoid that you want to mine. Robots built on the station platform can leave and travel to a connected mine via dock transfer.
If the drones are parked nicely on their landing pads this means they are correctly paired with the mine and are ready to be assigned an ore type from the Mines configuration window. We will call this the Untasked State. If the drones are next to the landing pads, but not on their pad, this means they are assigned a task but cannot complete it. We will call this the idle state.
If the drones are not stopped at either of these positions they are likely dead and the game needs to be saved and reloaded. If you save and reload and the drone does not wake up and get back to work it may have been abandoned by its mine because another drone took its place.
The "It's Ugly but it works." Method:
The current setup that works pretty reliably for drone pathing issues is to build a platform of floor tiles above the ground and attach the platform to the ground with pillars of dirt from terraforming. Do not hang drones over the edge, most are afraid of heights. Make multiple pillars so the drones are less likely to get into a traffic jam situation. One per mining building is a good goal, but not required.
Point at the front of the drone and press "U" to see if it wakes up, sometimes that works.
If your drones are assigned to a mine, that mine has an ore type configured, and they will not leave the "Idle State" the first thing to do is double check that the planetoid does in fact have the ore type that you have assigned available. If a drone is assigned an ore it cannot reach it will sit in the idle state forever.
After verifying the ore type is available by scanning or looking at the map view you will need to begin troubleshooting the path to the ore for the drone. Leave the drones in the idle state, once you satisfy their pathfinding they will start to mine on their own and will come to you by the assigned ore.
-Look for rocks above the ore or horizontally.
-Clear a path from the mine building to the ore keeping in mind the drones want to only dig straight down.
-Quartz and Stone blocks will block a drone and will not show up on the scanner, you need to find this manually.
-Drones hate foundations.