Mine Rescue Robot
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Detailed Robot Information
MSHA's Remotec ANDROS Wolverine Robot, nicknamed V2, can travel through an underground mine in conditions that might be unsafe for miners to pass through. V2 is approximately 50 inches tall and weighs over 1200 pounds. It is propelled by explosion-proof motors that drive rubber tracks similar to a military tank. It is equipped with navigation and surveillance cameras, lighting, atmospheric detectors, night vision capability, two way voice communication, and a manipulator arm.
The manufacturer is Remotec, Inc. of Oak Ridge, TN, a world leader in hazardous duty robotic vehicles. Remotec has designed and developed robots for applications such as bomb squads, hazmat, military, swat team, remote inspection of nuclear facilities, etc. MSHA acquired the specially designed robot at a cost of $265,000.
V2 is operated remotely from a safe location and has the capability of exploring up to 5000 feet, communicating vital information about the conditions in the mine over a fiber optic cable. The operator can view real time information including video, and concentrations of combustible and toxic gasses. During mine rescue or recovery operations, mine rescue teams are presented with many challenges that impact their ability to respond effectively without unnecessarily jeopardizing their own safety and health. Explosions, fires, flooding, and accumulations of methane and toxic gas all present significant risk when exploring the mine. Furthermore, the lack of knowledge regarding the geological integrity and environmental condition of the mine also hinder rescue and recovery efforts. Robotic technology offers significant potential to improve the plight of the rescue workers by reducing exposures to hazardous conditions. A robotic vehicle can explore the mine and provide valuable information to the teams to assist in planning and implementing search and rescue operations.