ROBOMINERS has been presented at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid last Friday, 8 November 2019 at the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Centre for Automation and Robotics UPM-CSIC. The anniversary event took place in the framework of the Madrid Science Week. The Science Week offers the public the opportunity to learn about the work of scientists, their research, motivations and efforts. It allows society to know the latest advances in science.

The UPM-CSIC team has presented at this occasion a prototype of a reconfigurable modular robot.

 

From left to right: Ignacio Rodriguez, Daniel Brito and Miguel Hernando

During a short visit of the CNES-IRAP laboratory in Toulouse, France, the ROBOMINERS team from the Geological Survey of Belgium presented this summer the project concept and the potential links with the robotic exploration of Mars, involving among others the use of automated LIBS instrumentation, Raman. The discussions led to various technical considerations for the application of spectroscopic techniques from a robotic platform.

 

SuperCam flight unit (for Raman and near-infrared spectrometer analysis) – will be sent to Mars with the next martian rover. Credits: CNES-TRONQUART Nicolas 2018.

ROBOMINERS has been presented by project coordinator Claudio Rossi (UPM) at the “What next for space resources utilisation?” workshop organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) in Luxembourg on 10 and 11 October.

ESA has hosted this workshop, in cooperation with the Luxembourg Space Agency, to identify the next steps needed to realise the first space resource utilisation, in support of sustained and sustainable human presence at the Moon. The event took place as part of the Luxembourg Space Resources week and was attended by 400 participants.

At this occasion, Claudio Rossi gave a speech on the applicability of the ROBOMINERS concept for space resources: “From deep underground to deep space”.

 

Claudio Rossi at the ESA workshop

 

The UNEXMIN project has very close links with ROBOMINERS as both projects gather specialists in the mineral raw materials and the robotics sector with a view to reducing the EU’s dependence on imported critical minerals.

The target of the Horizon 2020-funded UNEXMIN project was to develop an autonomous and multi-platform Robotic Explorer with tools for the exploration and 3D mapping of the thousands of historic and now flooded deep mines that pepper Europe and which are today inaccessible and closed.

The project organised its final conference on 26 September 2019 in Brussels and gathered nearly 80 participants from across Europe. The event offered the unique opportunity to present the project’s main deliverables, while showcasing the UX-1 robot at Nemo 33, Europe’s deepest diving pool.

ROBOMINERS coordinator Claudio Rossi presented the project to the audience which comprised policymakers from the European Commission’s DG GROW and EASME, academics from various European research institutions, representatives from mineral exploration and exploitation companies and robotics and ICT experts.

 

More information:

Powerpoint presentation about ROBOMINERS

UNEXMIN final conference

 

Last week, the Montan-University of Leoben (MUL) has organised its first workshop about the production tools of the robot miner that will be developed within the ROBOMINERS project. The meeting involved both senior researchers and students and triggered discussions about the actuator, production tools and conveying system of the robot. Several conventional and non- conventional methods/concepts have been discussed and compared.

 

Photo: FLTR – Jasmin Leitner, student; Benedikt Waidbacher, student, Dr. Michael Prenner, senior scientist, Roman Gerer, MSc, senior researcher; Eric Fimbinger, MSc, senior researcher

ROBOMINERS has been featured in the Mining Dot Com online magazine under the title “Robominers to scope Europe for resources humans can’t reach” read the full article here.

On 13 June 2019, the ROBOMINERS project has kicked off officially. The project financed by the Horizon 2020 program is set to last 48 months. The main goal is to facilitate EU access to mineral raw materials– including also those that are considered as strategic or critical for the energy transition – via the use of a fully functional modular robot miner prototype capable of operating, navigating and performing selective mining in a flooded underground environment.

ROBOMINERS project will improve access to European raw materials by developing a bio-inspired, modular and reconfigurable robot-miner for small and difficult to access mineral deposits

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.

Check our press release here.