Autonomous Underwater Explorer for Flooded Mines
UNEXMIN is developing a novel robotic system for the autonomous exploration and mapping of Europe’s flooded mines. The Robotic Explorer (UX-1) will use non-invasive methods for autonomous 3D mine mapping for gathering valuable geological and mineralogical information. This will open new exploration scenarios so that strategic decisions on the re-opening of Europe’s abandoned mines could be supported by actualised data that cannot be obtained by any other ways.
The multi-robot platform will represent a new technology line that is made possible by recent developments in autonomy research that allows the development of a completely new class of mine explorer service robots, capable of operating without remote control. Such robots do not exist nowadays; UX-1 will be the first of its kind.
Research challenges are related to miniaturisation and adaptation of deep sea robotic technology to this new application environment and to the interpretation of geoscientific data.
The major objectives will be supported by a science and technology merger of deep sea robotics solutions with user’s requirements from the mining industry. They will lead to a fine adaptation of UX-1 so that the novel developed technology could best serve end-users.