ROBOMINERS is a new project funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 (grant agreement n°820971) which aims at creating a bio-inspired robot capable of mining underground mineral deposits.
Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.
ROBOMINERS’ innovative approach combines the creation of a new mining ecosystem with novel ideas from other sectors, in particular with the inclusion of disruptive concepts from robotics. The use of the robot miner will especially be relevant for mineral deposits that are small or difficult to access. This covers both abandoned, nowadays flooded mines, that are not accessible anymore for conventional mining techniques, or places that have formerly been explored but whose exploitation was considered as uneconomic due to the small size of the deposits or the difficulty to access them.
Constructing a fully functional modular robot miner prototype following a bio-inspired design, capable of operating, navigating and performing selective mining in a flooded underground environment
Designing a mining ecosystem of expected future upstream/downstream raw materials processes via simulations, modelling and virtual prototyping
Validating all key functions of the robot-miner to a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4
Using the prototypes to study and advance future research challenges concerning scalability, resilience, re-configurability, self-repair, collective behaviour, operation in harsh environments, selective mining, production methods as well as for the necessary converging technologies on an overall mining ecosystem level.