The objetive of UNEXUP is to commercially deploy a new raw materials exploration / mine mapping service based on a new class of mine explorer robots, for non-contact assessment of Europe’s flooded mines. The inaccessibility of the operational environment makes autonomy a critical and primary objective of the project, which will present a substantial effort in resurveying mineral deposits in Europe, where the major challenges are geological uncertainty and technological / economic feasibility of mine development.
On the technical side, an additional robot will be added to the current multi-robot platform, providing additional functionalities to the exploration system, including better range and depth performance. Hardware and software upgrades, as well as new capabilities delivered by the platform are also envisaged for the current and new UX robots, which will greatly extend the usefulness of the platform in different situations. Among these: better data acquisition and management, further downsizing, extended ranging capabilities, improved self-awareness and decision making, matured post-processing (such as the deployment of 3D virtual reality models) and interaction with the data will be targeted during the next years. Upgrading the overall technology with these tools, and possibly additional ones, will allow the system to operate with more reliability and security, with reduced costs.
These added functions arise from different stakeholders’ feedback from the UNEXMIN project. UNEXUP targets stakeholders from the mining, robotics and mineral exploration sectors, as well as all other sectors that have any kind of underwater structure that needs to be surveyed – Geological Surveys and water companies are among them.