Posts

Register for the UNEXMIN final conference now!

The UNEXMIN final conference will be held in Brussels, on the 26th of September. Registration is open and can be accessed now. It is free!

Dear Sir/Madam,

As the coordinator of the UNEXMIN project, it is my pleasure to invite you to our final conference. This event will be the end of a 4-year journey that led to the development of a robotic platform allowing to explore flooded mines and other flooded structures and environments. During our final conference, you will have the chance to learn more about the project outcomes and its connection to European policies. Come, meet the team and learn all about UNEXMIN!

By the way, we will have a very special guest: the first UX-1 robot itself!

See you hopefully soon in Brussels,

Norbert Zajzon

 

About the event

The EU-funded UNEXMIN project is developing a technology capable of autonomous exploration and mapping of flooded underground mines. The robotic platform uses non-contact methods to gather geological, mineralogical and spatial data without major costs or risks associated. The field trials, set up at four different flooded underground mines in Europe, have helped the team to access the platform’s development and to improve this unique exploration technology.

The event programme will include high-level discussions on European innovative raw materials policies, UNEXMIN’s support to those policies, and on the capabilities and future application of the exploration system. The conference will thus provide a unique opportunity to discover the outcomes of the UNEXMIN project and its specific fields of work, including minerals exploration, raw materials exploitation, and robotics and ICT development, with cross-cutting discussions that will demonstrate the impact that UNEXMIN can have on the European landscape. The conference is particularly relevant for EU policymakers, academics, mineral exploration and exploitation companies, cave exploration companies, SMEs focussing on geological consultancy and minerals surveying, and robotics and ICT experts from private and public institutions.


Programme

Several speakers have already confirmed their attendance and you can discover here an overview of the programme:

Morning session: setting the political context: the future of mining in Europe

  • Aim of the call for proposals – Marcin Sadowski (EASME, Head of sector – Raw Materials)
  • UNEXMIN – aim and outcomes – Norbert Zajzon (UNEXMIN, project coordinator, University of Miskolc)
  • ROBOMINERS H2020 project – Claudio Rossi (ROBOMINERS, project coordinator, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)

Afternoon session I: Raw materials & mining

  • UNEXMIN processing and data analysis – Stephen Henley (RCI/4dcoders)
  • UNEXMIN field trials and geological interpretation – Gorazd Zibret (Geological Survey of Slovenia)
  • UNEXMIN Inventory of flooded mines – Yves Vanbrabant (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, EFG-Linked Third Party) 

Afternoon session II: Robotics & functionalities

  • UX-1 robotic functions: testing and validation – Jussi Aaltonen (University of Tampere)
  • UX-1 multi robot platform – Alfredo Martins (Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Tecnologia e Ciência)
  • UX-1 autonomy, mine exploration and mapping – Claudio Rossi (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)

Round table – Mineral exploration, future and long-term initiatives

Venue

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstreet, 29 I 1000 Brussels I Belgium

Registration

Full information is available at https://www.unexmin.eu/unexmin-final-conference
Participation in this event is free but requires registration.
To register, please fill in the form at https://forms.gle/V64vHekSZVbTZmo59

Registration for the UNEXMIN final event is now open!

The UNEXMIN final event is set to happen on the 26th of September, later this year. It will count with a representative array of talks and discussions from robotics, raw materials and policy perspectives. Stakeholders are invited to take part on this event to learn more about UNEXMIN and the bigger European current and future perspective. Registration is free and is now open.

About the event

UNEXMIN is an EU-funded project that develops a novel robotic system for the autonomous exploration and mapping of Europe’s flooded mines. To learn more about these innovative mineral exploration techniques, we invite you to register now for the project’s final conference which will be held on 26th September 2019 in Brussels. At this occasion, project results, including the presence of one of the UX-1 robots, will be shown, discussed and demonstrated. The programme will include high-level discussions on raw materials policies, support from the UNEXMIN project to those policies and the European industrial innovation, and on the capabilities and future application of the exploration system.

Programme

The event sessions are now set and several speakers have already confirmed their attendance. The conference will be split into the following sessions:

  • Morning session: Setting the political context – the future of mining in Europe
  • Afternoon session I: Raw materials & mining
  • Afternoon session II: Robotics & functionalities
  • Round table and closing session

Who should attend?

The conference  will provide a unique opportunity to discuss the UNEXMIN project overall and its specific fields of work, including minerals exploration, raw materials exploitation, and robotics and ICT development, with cross-cutting discussions that aim at demonstrating the impact that UNEXMIN can have on the European landscape. Therefore it is particularly relevant for EU policymakers, academics, mineral exploration and exploitation companies, cave exploration companies, SMEs focussing on geological consultancy and minerals surveying, and robotics and ICT experts from private and public institutions.

More information and registration

Full information is available at https://www.unexmin.eu/unexmin-final-conference
Participation in this event is free but requires registration.
To register, please fill in the form at https://forms.gle/V64vHekSZVbTZmo59

Venue

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Vautierstreet, 29 I 1000 Brussels I Belgium

 

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us!

Second week of field work and major achievements at the Urgeiriça mine, Portugal

The second half of the UNEXMIN’s field tests at the Urgeiriça underground flooded mine happened between the 1st and 7th of April, in Portugal, following the first two weeks of trials. For this second half of testing the team brought together both UX-1a and UX-1b to be tested in the waters of Urgeiriça. The highlights of this second half are:

  • 1st of April (Monday): The UNEXMIN team tested the UX-1a in the Lab test tank in the morning and packed both UX-1a and UX-1b robots and the needed equipment for the Urgeiriça trials in the afternoon. The team arrived at the Urgeiriça mine site around 20h00.
  • 2nd of April (Tuesday): The equipment was unpacked, the control room set-up and fiber optic communication with the shaft switch was tested. A field laboratory was also installed with all the required equipment in the control room, to assemble the UX-1 robots. In the afternoon, after all the basic tests/checks, the first dive was done with UX-1a. The main goal of this first dive was to map the vertical shaft with the robot facing the shaft itself, i.e., pitch down and pitch up. The maximum depth reached was 27m below the surface. Up to 20 meters deep the visibility was disturbed by the bubbles accumulated in the dome glasses of the cameras, which also disturbed the DVL and, consequently, the robot’s navigation. After 20m depth the visibility was good and the water clear.
  • 3rd of April (Wednesday): The robot’s weight was calibrated in water to have a better Roll when pitching Up and Down. A mapping dive was made on the central shaft up to 46.5m where all SLSs (Structured Light Systems) were tested with the robot in pitch down and pitch up positions. The construction of real-time maps using the “octomap” technique was also tested successfully.
  • 4th of April (Thursday): Open day to media and the general population at the trial site. Two national television stations (SIC, RTP) were present at the testing site. Norbert Zajzon (project coordinator; UNIM) and Alfredo Martins (INESC TEC) were interviewed by the television stations, which showed a lot of interest in the project.
    During this day two dives were made, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The morning dive was to the first level (22m below the surface) that served as a demonstration to the media and also to validate the mapping with all the sensors. At the entrance of this level a possible uranium rock was visually identified by Janos Horvath (Geo-Montan), proving the usefulness of the UNEXMIN technology to geologists and alike. In the afternoon dive, the depth of 46.2m was reached. In the ascent to the surface there was a power failure in the robot. UX-1 was successfully recovered due to the safe mechanisms applied by the UNEXMIN team, such as the umbilical cord that links the robot to a power source.
  • 5th of April (Friday): “Exame informática”, a Portuguese technology focused magazine, made a one-day mission coverage of the UNEXMIN project. Two dives were performed, one in the morning and the other by the end of the day. The morning dive served to validate the correct functioning of the robot after the corrections of the problems from the previous day. The end-of-the-day dive served to validate the real-time mapping with SLS and Multibeam sensors, where the robot reached a depth of 58m. After the dive, and taking advantage of the fact that there was no sunlight, the team tested the LEDs’ UV-light with the minerals example, in order to calibrate the triggering time of the LEDs and their intensity to facilitate identification of minerals.
  • 6th of April (Saturday): Two dives were performed, one up to 68m in the morning and another until the maximum depth reached, as of today, by the UX-1 robot: 106.5m! In the afternoon dive it was possible to obtain multispectral images in the 3rd level of rocky areas of interest. It was also possible to enter the gallery up to 9 meters and build the 3D map of it.
  • 7th of April (Sunday): Packing and cleaning the site.

The field trials at the Urgeiriça flooded mine site were completed successfully with a great effort made by the UNEXMIN’s technical teams. Together with the help from the local stakeholders (EDM), the elapsing of the trial – on both the first and second halves – went very well. From this long but fruitful trial, the major take-outs are:

  1. The first two robots, UX-1a and UX-1b, were for the fist time working together on the field
  2. The biggest dive with a UX-1 robot was reached – 106.5m
  3. Scientific instrumentation was tested successfully – UV light, water sampler and others
  4. Navigation and movement within the application environment saw improvements – moving pitch down and pitch up inside the shafts
  5. Good coverage and dissemination of the UNEXMIN project’s activities to the local and national media in Portugal.

The UNEXMIN partners will now continue with the project’s development – which includes the development of the third robot, UX-1c – and make preparations for the next field trial in the Ecton mine, UK.

UNEXMIN present at the 2nd International Real Time Mining Conference

The UNEXMIN project was recently invited to be part of the 2nd International Real Time Mining Conference as co-organiser like it was on the 1st edition of this event. This time, the event included a visit to the Reiche Zeche mine, in Freiberg, coupled with talks from the Real Time Mining project on the first day (26th March) and a conference day with presentations on mining exploration on the second (27th March). UNEXMIN presented four talks and contributed to the debate on the present and future of the raw materials sector.

On the first day, the UNEXMIN team members (4 partners institutions were representing the project in this event, i.e. LPRC, UNIM, INESC TEC and GeoZS), had the opportunity to learn more about the Real Time Mining project results and outcomes. A visit to the Reiche Zeche mine guaranteed a hands-on experience at the project’s exploration solution. The UNEXMIN team could exchange data and debate this new technology line with its developers and other interested parties.

It was, however, on the second day, that the UNEXMIN project gave its major contribution to the conference. A total of 4 presentations covering different aspects of the project, covering hardware, software and testing, were given to the audience:

1 – Developing an underwater robotic platform to explore flooded mines – the state of the UNEXMIN project
2 – Multispectral imaging of minerals in flooded mines – a case study
3 – UNEXMIN underwater 3D mapping with sonar and laser scan
4 – Testing of prototype robot UX‐1a for exploration and mapping of flooded underground mines

With these talks participants were introduced to the project and had the chance to learn more about its developments and description of work, to ask questions about the technology and to form synergies for the future. The UNEXMIN proposed line of work – to develop an autonomous underwater system to explore and map flooded mines – is inline with the European raw materials policy and, therefore, also inline with the development efforts made by other projects and companies within the mineral exploration and exploitation sectors.

The UNEXMIN team would like to thank the invitation and opportunity to be present at this event. Informing stakeholders of the current state of the project and its innovative developments is an intrinsic aim of the project. Debating this and other technologies with experts will bring the European raw materials and robotics sectors forward.

UNEXMIN to be presented at the Real Time Mining 2nd International Conferecence in Freiberg, Germany

The UNEXMIN project was invited by the Real Time Mining Project – both EU funded projects under Horizon 2020 and dealing with raw materials issues – to be present at their 2nd Internatioal Conference. UNEXMIN will join other projects in coorganizing the event. This conference will be held on the 27th of March, in Freiberg, Germany.

For this event, the UNEXMIN project will bring a total of four presentations, focussing on 4 areas:

  1. Overview presentation of the project and its current development state;
  2. The underwater 3D mapping tools developed within UNEXMIN;
  3. The multispectral imaging of minerals in flooded mines;
  4. The UNEXMIN field trials with the UX-1a robot.

UNEXMIN is aiming at contributing to the conference with talks on its innovative solution to explore flooded mines while contributing to raw materials knowledge in Europe. The project partners will engage in discussions with the remaining participants to strenghten possible collaborations between European projects and together contribute to the development of the European raw materials and robotics fields.

UNEXMIN is developing an autonomous underwater robotic system to explore and map flooded underground mines that allows geological, mineralogical and spatial data to be obtained in a cost-effective, non-risky way.