Robots are exploring underground spaces such as mines, caves, and sewers to map voids and repair infrastructure like pipes and tanks. The goal of subterranean robotics is to use robots to explore an underground world that is inaccessible and too dangerous for human entry . We are working on systems that drive, swim, and transform to operate in narrow passages. Groundhog is a first generation mobile system for autonomous mine mapping. Cave Crawler is a newer robot that is faster and smaller. Ferret is a robotic imaging device that can be lowered down narrow passages, such as boreholes. Helix and Minefish are two robots under development for the mobile exploration of hard-to-access spaces.
- Reliable autonomous exploration
- 3D sensing and mapping
- Operation in dry and flooded environments
- Novel mechanisms for subterranean spaces
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