UNEXMIN is an EU-funded project that develops a novel robotic system for the autonomous exploration and mapping of Europe’s flooded mines.

The Multi-robot Platform will represent a new technology line that is made possible by recent developments in autonomy research that allows the development of a completely new class of mine explorer service robots, capable of operating without remote control. Such robots do not exist nowadays; UX-1 will be the first of its kind. Research challenges are related to miniaturisation and adaptation of deep sea robotic technology to this new application environment and to the interpretation of geoscientific data.

Work is ongoing with component validation and simulations to understand the behavior of technology components and instruments to the application environment. This will then be followed by the construction of the first Prototype. Post processing and data analysis tools will be developed in parallel, and pre-operational trials are launched in real life conditions. The final, most ambitious demonstration will take place in the UK with the resurveying of the entire flooded section of the Ecton underground mine (UK) that nobody has seen for over 150 years.

Project Timeline is 2016-2020.

Key partners:

  • University of Miskolc
  • Geological Survey of Slovenia
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid – Centre for Automation and Robotics
  • La Palma Research Centre for Future Studies
  • Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Tecnologia e Ciência
  • Resources Computing International Ltd (4dcoders)
  • Geoplano, SA
  • Ecton Mine Educational Trust
  • European Federation of Geologists
  • Geo-Montan Ltd
  • Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro, S.A.
  • Idrija Mercury Heritage Management Centre

Key results:

  • Novel miniaturized robotics technologies
  • Novel AUV technologies
  • New mineralogical and geological survey methods and technologies for autonomous surveys
  • UX1 single robot pilot
  • UX1a…c multirobot pilot system
  • Volume and surface models and mineralogical and geological surveys of pilot sites
  • “NewCo” – Start-up owned by UNEXMIN partners which will continue robot development and offering survey services to stakeholders (last deliverable of the project)

Project impact:

Project will open new exploration scenarios so that strategic decisions on the re-opening of Europe’s abandoned mines can be made based on actual information. European security of supply in strategic minerals will be improved.

Contact us

Kari Koskinen
Tampereen yliopisto
+358 400 634 242
Jussi Aaltonen
Tampereen yliopisto
+358 40 849 0522