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After Oceans, Now Robots to Dig Deep Under Earth

After designing robots to dive into deep waters, scientists are developing a machine that can dig deep under the earth. These robots will explore flood sites, provide alerts, and use robotics with an aim to increase the armory of tools. As a result, such features will help increase work efficiency and increased safety.

UX-1 in Mining Sector

The team carried out a field test in Western Slovenia. The aim was to determine if the robot can travel through dark and turbid waters in closed mines. Further, researchers observed if the robot is capable of using its multispectral camera to recognize different types of minerals.

The team that created UX-1 is hopeful that the day is not far when UX-1 will represent a huge multi robot platform known as the “Underwater Explorer for Flooded Mines (UNEXMiN)”.  The robots will carry out less intrusive and autonomous 3D mine scanning to obtain mineralogical, geological, and spatial information. Current solutions are expensive and this robot promises to reduce cost. 

UNEXMiN is funded by a European Union Program known as “Horizon 2020”, says Norbert Zajzon, a geologist at the University of Miskolc, Hungry. Further, they are looking forward to reevaluating abandoned mine to ascertain their potential for future operations.

Some abandoned mines may pose a threat to human lives while trying to enter and navigate through flooded tunnels in order to ascertain the minerals. Designing a robot that can be successful in such areas is a daunting task. However, to overcome such difficulties UNEXMiN will introduce features such as SONAR(Sound Navigation And Ranging), acoustic cameras, rechargeable batteries, thrusters, a computer, laser scanners, pendulum, pressure hull and buoyancy control system.

Using these features, the robot could dive autonomously and determine minerals in the water with the help of multispectral camera.

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