Related Videos

UPM’s UX-1 prototype testing in INESC TEC’s pool. Courtesy of Luís Lopes.

Testing is now an ongoing process in the UNEXMIN project and a very important step in the development of the multi-robotic platform.

In this video, it is seen a small prototype of the future UX-1 robot, developed by Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and tested in the pool at INESC TEC’s facilities, active in the pool, moving and going underwater in an autonomous way – autonomy is a key part in UX-1’s development and will be essential for its future missions.

UX-1 Software tests, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Courtesy of Claudio Rossi.

Software development and testing regarding UX-1’s autonomy is being currently worked on by UPM team. The future robot’s autonomy will be essential for mine exploration and mapping, as two of the major goals of the project, due to the inaccessibility of the operational environment.

The video contains footage from the early work in this specific software aspect.

UX-1 Plastic Proto Stability Tests, Tampere University of Technology. Courtesy of Jussi Aaltonen.

Validation and simulations of key components for the UX‐1 robot are being done. Testing is done in conditions similar (as similar as possible) to the ones present in deep flooded mines: pressure, low visibility, confined space and difficulty to access. This video shows one of these tests: a stability test done in a pool in Tampere University of Technology (TUT), using a plastic mock‐up of the future UX‐1 robot. To analyse this type of control, TUT used factors as accelearation and angle of the horizontal thrusters.

In the video, the movement of the plastic UX-1 mock-up can be observed.

Point cloud obtained from Salts Level, Ecton Mine, UK. Courtesy of RCI.

A point cloud is a set of data points defined in a coordinate system. In this case, a three-dimensional coordinate system is being used, in which the coordinates X, Y and Z are defined. Such models are commonly used as a representation of the external surface of a solid object or the internal surface of a hollow object.

In this video we can see a point cloud of Salts Level that outlines the excavated tunnels in this unflooded part of the mine. To obtain this data set, a 3D scanner was used to measure the positions of a large number of points to build a final data file – the point cloud. To produce this video, only a small subset of the available data were used (1 point in every 100) in order to reduce the data processing time. This results in a rather smoothed appearance. For detailed studies, all points would be used in order to maximise the geological and engineering information recorded.

This is the kind of geometric data that we want to obtain from the technology developed in UNEXMIN – the robot will map the flooded tunnels, shafts, stopes, and other openings.

Faro scans, Ecton Salts Level, UK. Courtesy of GeoReka!.

In this video a Point Cloud visualization of the Ecton Salts Level can be seen, using 550 million data points. In order to obtain this enormous quantity of data points, a total of 13 Faro laser scanners were used, each gathering about 40 million points each. As the number of points is much bigger than the ones used in the Point Cloud of the video above, the detail that can be observed is much greater. Therefore, in this video the geological and topographical structures can be seen, as well as every other aspect present in the non-flooded tunnels – even the warning signs!

Post-processing this amount of data is difficult and is one of the key aspects that the UNEXMIN project is looking into.

Flooded deep shaft, Ecton Mine, UK. Courtesy of Alfredo Martins, INESCTEC.

In this video we can see a light source going through one of the flooded shafts in the Ecton Mine. This particular one could even be the shaft that will actually be the place from where the multi-platform robotic system UX-1 will start its journey of mapping the entire flooded section of the mine in this last and most complicated test site.