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Summary of the second week of the Kaatiala trials

The first field trials with the UX-1 robot are finished. The two-weeks trial ended on the 22nd of June with the robot’s capabilities being extensively tested on a real-life environment: a flooded mine. After the summary of the first working week at the Kaatiala mine site, the remarks of the second week are finally here. Read all about it below, alongside with some nice footage from the work done over the last working week!

On the 16th, the UNEXMIN team had to move its camp and respective working station to the northern part of the Kaatiala lake where the waters go deeper. It is at this site that the entrances to the underground flooded workings – perfect to test the UX-1 robot – could be found.

Then, with everything set-up accordingly, the researchers passed the next three days doing multiple dives with the robot, where UX-1 entered and navigated the underground tunnels. Divers previously placed calibration objects in the tunnels to help with testing UX-1 capabilities: navigation, movement, control, mapping, amonst others.

The tests allowed the UNEXMIN team to test different navigation sensors such as UV and SLS imaging units, multispectral camera, acoustic cameras and laser scanners. These instruments are essential to gather spatial and geoscientific data. The robot’s movement and control was tested by making it pass through the underground tunnels that included a always hazardous junction (hazardous for an automated system such as UX-1!). The robot was successfully tested a couple of times in this environment, before the week was over and the team had to pack everything and leave.

The success of the Kaatiala trials is evident. The UNEXMIN team is confident in further developing the technology and to optimize it. And that is the next step in the robotic platform development: to use the data acquired from this trial and improve the robot’s capabilities for the next trial at the Idrija mercury mine in Slovenia, in September!

UNEXMIN all over Europe thanks to Euronews

Euronews, the multilingual television network, presents next week a news piece about the UNEXMIN project on their science-oriented program Futuris.

The news item will be based on the most recent trials held at the Kaatiala mine and includes general information and interviews about this EU-funded Horizon 2020 project. The UNEXMIN project is developing and testing an innovative robotic solution to explore and map flooded underground mines.

The Euronews story about UNEXMIN will air during next week, from Monday to Sunday, approximatelly at the following times (Central European Time):

Monday 02/07: 18:45, 01:45
Tuesday 03/07: 13:15, 18:15, 01:45
Wednesday 04/07: 10:15, 16:45, 02:45
Thursday 05/07: 14:15, 17:15, 01:45
Friday 06/07: 11:45, 15:45
Saturday 07/07: 06:45, 12:15, 17:45, 22:15
Sunday 08/07: 10:45, 14:15, 20:45

After the television broadcasting times, the Futuris program featuring the UNEXMIN news will be available in all the 12 languages of the website: http://www.euronews.com/programs/futuris/. Then, a few days later, the UNEXMIN story will also be available on Euronews’ YouTube channels – just search for UNEXMIN!

Summary of the first week of the Kaatiala trials

The first UNEXMIN field trials finally started last week (11th to the 15th June). And on these five days a lot happened, with much more to come this week.

On the first day, the UNEXMIN team transported the UX-1 robot – weighting around 100Kg! – and all the necessary equipment to the Kaatiala test site. A base was set up at the shallow part of the lake where the tests are being held to allocate the UNEXMIN team and create its working station.

The next two days served as the last dry tests for the robot, as a preparation for the first official UX-1 swim that finally happened on the 14th. All the necessary sub-systems for navigation and motion (e.g. ballast system, SLS, thrusters, IMU, multibeam-sonar, computer control) were tested on the 14–15th of June in 2 to 5m deep water, and autonomous motion and navigation tests started on the 15th.

During the weekend, the UNEXMIN team moved their base to the deep part of the lake, where the underground tunnels are located. It is in this area that the UX-1 robot will perform its autonomous operations during this week.

Besides the testing, the UNEXMIN team have also been busy with a growing interest from the media, translated in some interviews. One Finnish national TV and four newspapers, and one international TV (Euronews) were present at the site to learn more and share the UNEXMIN project to their readers and viewers!

To keep updated on the UNEXMIN activities at the Kaatila test site, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The trials at the Katiaala mine have finally started!

The time has come. The first field trials for the UNEXMIN technology have finally began, at the Kaatiala mine, in Finland. The trials with the UX-1 robot started yesterday (11th June) and will last until the 22nd of June.

The technological developers involved in the UNEXMIN project are now all together in Finland to progress with the first field trials for the UX-1 robot in the Kaatiala mine. Representatives from University of Miskolc, Tampere University of Technology, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Tecnologia e Ciência will ensure that the testing progresses as good as possible and that all the conditions for the teams to work are set-up.

These first trials will serve as a basis for further testing of the robot in a real application environment – Kaatiala is an open-pit mine with an underground section. The robot’s capabilities will also be evaluated and assessed for improvement: control, movement and 3D mapping of the mine walls are among them.

Follow the UNEXMIN accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to be updated of the state of the trials!