Engineers at the Carlos III University of Madrid and other European partners have developed an autonomous underground robot that can perform drilling work in cities. The mine radar installed in the ground vehicle can detect possible obstacles in the ground. The prototype has been successfully tested in Madrid and Lennestadt (Germany).
Member of the European Research Project badgerCoordinated by the Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M), a prototype of an automatic underground robot with intelligent navigation function in the urban environment was proposed.
The robot system is mainly composed of two elements: Ground vehicle Comes with a mine radar to scan the terrain, so that you can know the obstacles under the underground soil, and Autonomous underground robot Used for drilling work.
“Once used WandererThe technical manager of the BADGER project explained that the work plan was made using the software, and the entry and exit points of the work to be carried out were determined in order to take the robot away and start drilling. ” Santiago Martinez de la Casa, Is a researcher in the Robotics Laboratory of the Automation and Systems Engineering Department of UC3M.
In Europe, it is estimated that approximately 500,000 civil works are carried out each year to install cables, pipes and other types of small-diameter underground pipes. Typically, these tasks are performed by opening the trench, extending the pipe, and then blocking the trench.
The researchers said: “The advantage of this robot is that it can perform the same work by drilling holes without opening the trenches, thereby avoiding noise, pollution and inconvenience to residents.”
Tested in Madrid and Germany
Within the framework of the project, the system is funded by the EU Research, Technology Development and Innovation Framework Program and has been tested under laboratory conditions. Specifically, they conducted several underground drilling tests on the land of the Madrid community and Lennestadt (Germany).
The prototype of the system has attracted the attention of the private sector such as European companies and North American companies, and is currently under continuous development, with the aim of starting tests in a real urban environment.Researchers estimate that it may be ready for use in cities Within 2-3 years.
The project coordinator explained: “Using innovative technologies for location, map and navigation, as well as sensors and ground radar will adapt it to different terrains” Carlos Balaguer, Professor of UC3M System and Automation Engineering Department, one of the heads of RoboticsLab.
He added: “The introduction of these advanced robotic technologies with cognitive and control capabilities has multiple applications.” It will improve European search and rescue operations (landslides…), mining, and civilian applications (such as water pipes, natural gas, optical fibers. ..), the competitiveness of exploration technology, mapping, etc.
AD (Robots for autonomous ground trenchless operations, mapping and navigation) Is the European R&D&I alliance coordinated by UC3M, in which researchers and technicians from the Hellas Research and Technology Center (Greece) of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Glasgow (Scotland, UK) collaborated), IDS Georadar Srl (Italy), Robotnik Automation SLL (Spain), Singular Logic SA (Greece) and Tracto-Technik GMbH & Co.KG (Germany).