Robots for underwater exploration tested in Slovenia and Ireland
A team of INESC TEC’s CRAS was at the mercury mine in Idrija, Slovenia, between 11 and 21 September in order to carry out the second field trials of the UNEXMIN robot.
14th November 2018
A team composed of Alfredo Martins, José Almeida, Carlos Almeida, Ricardo Pereira and Eduardo Soares from INESC TEC’s Centre for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS) was at the mercury mine in Idrija, Slovenia, between 11 and 21 September in order to carry out the second field trials of the UNEXMIN (UX1) robot.
In this task, the UX1 robot was tested in a well with the water level exceeding 150 metres of depth from the surface, having performed several dives up to a depth of 27 metres. It was the first time that a robot was used in such conditions.
In total, thirteen organisations from seven European countries are collaborating in this project, which is funded by the European research programme Horizon 2020. From Portugal, INESC TEC and the Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro (EDM) participate in this project.
The Robotic Explorer system (UX-1) in development allows to do the 3D mapping of the mine, in an autonomous way, in order to collect important geological information that can’t be obtained otherwise. That's because using underwater robots allows the exploration of flooded mines without having to remove water from the mine, which entails very high operating costs.
The researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC and P.Porto-ISEP.
Photo credits: Euronews