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!

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!

UX-1 robot on its way to the first trial!

Exciting news ahead for the UNEXMIN project: the first UX-1 robot prototype has been shipped to Finland – in time for the preparations of the first UNEXMIN pilot trial in Kaatiala, Finland!

After the extensive preparations in the last months, the first UX-1 prototype – UX-1a – has been sent to Finland, where the UNEXMIN team will get together to ultimate the first of four trials in the UNEXMIN project. The UX-1 robot has been mechanically assembled in Tampere (March), sent to Porto so the scientific instruments could be added into the robot, hardware and software parts were tested in a pool environment and now, finnaly sent back to Tampere to arrive in time for the Kaatiala test.

Last Friday, 25th May, marked the last testing with the UX-1 robot before its shipment, everything being ready and working. The UNEXMIN team has made all the necessary testing and certified that the hardware and software parts that compose the UX-1a robot are all set-up.

UX-1a testing on the INESC TEC’s pool on the 25th of May. Left: Underwater camera view; Top right: Software view; Bottom right: Over the pool camera view.

The first test site will represent a very simple trial, where the UNEXMIN team will experiment with the robot’s capabilities in the real working environment and upgrade the software, hardware and subsystems right on the spot.

The European Inventory of Flooded Mines is now online!

The UNEXMIN project is proud to present its European database on flooded mines, after months of work. This inventory was developed as part of a task envisaged in Work Package 5 (Stakeholder mobilisation). The Inventory of Flooded Mines can be used by anyone and will be continously updated.

Inventory of Flooded Mines (developed by EFG/UNEXMIN project)

Developed by EFG (European Federation of Geologists) in collaboration with the GSB (Geological Survey of Belgium), the Inventory of Flooded mines in Europe was developed with the objective to create an online, public access inventory, that contains sites of interest for the UNEXMIN project. This database represents a unique compilation of data on flooded mines in Europe, with a total of 8174 mines identified in 24 European countries.

The database was developed with information from existing European databases (e.g. Promine, Minearls4EU), and data collected through project partners and associated Linked Third Parties. An innovative approach of automated search was developed specifically for this arduous task.

The Inventory of Flooded Mines can be accessed through the UNEXMIN website main menu and the correspondent deliverable can be read and downloaded here.

The Inventory of Flooded Mines in Europe is an online tool that can be freely used by everyone. The database is also going to be kept updated with efforts from all the interested parties, even after the project lifetime is over. In case you want to update the database with your own flooded mines data, a form can be furnished on request.

In case you encounter any difficulties using our database or even if you have any suggestions or comments, please send us a message through our Contact page or send a message to Giorgia Stasi (