Utah Mine Collapse and Robots

They just abandoned a second drilled hole looking for survivors. Evidently the field of view of a camera dangled down the pipe was
insufficient to see enough.
It would seem to be worthwhile for the companies who develop bomb disarming and other miscellaneous robots to build one that could be shoved down a 6 inch pipe and maneuver rough terrain on tracks. Even the ability to move a few meters around obstructions with a camera might be a big help. Autonomous operation might not be necessary. A radio controlled remote might work with an antenna hung down the pipe.
Does anyone make something like this?
--
Paul Hovnanian mailto: snipped-for-privacy@Hovnanian.com
------------------------------------------------------------------
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are robots used inside pipelines for inspections (referred to as "pigs" IIRC). I would think one of those might work here, perhaps with a few adaptations.
--
"Polywell" fusion -- an approach to nuclear fusion that might actually work.
Learn more and discuss via: <http://www.strout.net/info/science/polywell/>
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They already exist and many are under development. It is an area I would like to research personally but the funding for such research is hot property.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joe Strout wrote:

Not so much a pipe inspection robot. These don't have the maneuverability on the mine floor. There are quite a few (larger) tracked robots for inspecting bombs and such. There may not be something specifically designed for mine rescue, but I'm wondering if someone makes a small enough uint that could be dangled down the pipe and set on the mine floor. Perhaps something for searching collapsed buildings.
Heck, once the pipe proved to be poorly located for a fixed camera, it might be worthwhile sending someone down to the local hobby shop to pick up a radio controlled car and a wireless TV camera. That's a lot cheaper then the next shaft they'll have to sink.
--
Paul Hovnanian mailto: snipped-for-privacy@Hovnanian.com
------------------------------------------------------------------
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robin Murphy's interests are strong in this area.
http://www.csee.usf.edu/~murphy /
She was Arkin's student, and wrote "Introduction to AI Robotics" I'm now reading. A very pleasant read by the way. I highly recommend it.
http://www.csee.usf.edu/~murphy/book /
She was the one behind the robots that helped in the WTC search.
See some of the links on her home page.
-- Randy M. Dumse www.newmicros.com Caution: Objects in mirror are more confused than they appe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The shafts are something like 2000 ft deep. It's not something that's easy to hack together a solution with radio shack parts. I'm sure they have a lot of smart people considering all possible options. The last thing you would want to do is mess up the hole that took you so long to drill by having a cheap cable break and then fill the hole up with cable and a $15 radioshack R/C car.
The hope I'm sure was to get a shaft to an area were the people were. If someone was alive in the area where the shaft went, they would have made some noise. If they didn't have enough energy to make noise, there's not much good the shaft would do other than get air to them.
As far as I know, there has been no sign of anyone alive. No noise at all, not even a rock banging, when they tried to contact the minors using a microphone. If the minors were alive and anywhere near the area they drilled into they should have been able to hear something. There's not much a robot can do that a microphone can't do in terms of finding someone alive in a tunnel like that.
The normal purpose of search and rescue robot it to figure out if you need to dig in the first place. Whether there is sign of life or not, they're going to keep digging as fast as they can until they find the minors, dead or alive so I don't think there's a lot the robot could do, or tell them, that would change what they were doing anyway.
The idea of building robots to explore a mine that could be dropped down a hole like that is an obvious good idea to have around. I'm sure there are some robots today that could already do it because I know there are people working (and using) search and rescue robots. But having to drop down such a long shaft would require something designed for that distance. Most robots I know of don't come with 1/3 mile theaters (which would also have to be strong enough to hold the weight of the cable and the robot).
--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com http://NewsReader.Com /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.