Today in Europe there are about30,000 abandoned mines that have been flooded for hundreds of years. In most cases, they were abandoned by people, not because they ran out of jewels, but because of the lack of money to continue the work. In some of them there can still be huge reserves of minerals that can, and even need to be mined. But how do you know that there really is something under the water? In search of jewels can help the underwater robot, able to descend to a great depth.
A robotic diver called the UX-1 RoboticExplorer, and at the moment it is being actively tested inside the abandoned mines in Finland, Slovenia, Portugal and the UK. He is able to move through the tunnels for five hours without stopping, and thanks to the five built-in cameras to show the researchers every wall, turn and collapse inside the flooded mine.
Death in the mine - the harsh reality
Of course, researchers could study ancienttunnels with old maps, but they are unlikely to be accurate. The fact is that the mines are located at a depth of at least 500 meters from the surface of the earth, and under the influence of water inside them collapses are formed. Divers may also be involved in making up-to-date maps, but in the course of exploring the tunnels they may die under new landslides. So why should they risk their lives if the robot can do this work?
Robot for mining
Lowering the robot to a greater depth, researcherscan easily determine the presence of minerals by looking at the cameras and the composition of the water. If they find signs of the presence of jewels, they can pump out the water from the mine and start mining.
So in the near future abandoned minesmay have a second life. The main thing now is to create the final version of the robot, which is able to descend to a depth of more than 500 meters, and independently move around unfamiliar places. The current version cannot boast of such skills, so researchers control it from a distance, through a special remote control.
The deepest mine in the world
The depth record holder is considered to be a mine underTau-Tona, which is located in South African Republic. That it is considered the cause of the beginning of the so-called gold rush, during which all and sundry began to hunt for gold bullion. By 1980, about 36,000 tons of gold were mined in the mine, and at the moment its depth is 3,900 meters.
Descent into the Tau-Ton Mine
Also read: Mining in space very quickly depletes the solar system.
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