Milrem Robotics’ Multiscope unmanned ground vehicle recently lent its services to an Estonian energy company Enefit. It ventured into a mine that ended its mining efforts 10 years ago, checking the condition of underground pillars.
The vehicle was an ideal candidate for the job, since the ceiling’s anchor support structures were removed after mining operations ceased, making the location hazardous for humans. Multiscope sports a series of 3D lidar sensors, hybrid diesel-electric drive, multi-mission capabilities, rapid reconfiguration, a 1,650 payload capacity, and an open architecture.
Veljo Aleksandrov, Enefit’s development project drector, says, “Enefit uses smart and innovative solutions to make our production more efficient, to minimize our environmental impact, and prevent occupational safety-related risks. An unmanned vehicle is an excellent solution for conducting surveys in an area that may be unsafe or prohibited for people to enter.”
The underground survey is one part of Enefit’s goal to build a solar power plant right on top of the abandoned mine, which is projected to generate “approximately 3,500 MWh of renewable electricity per year,” according to Business Wire.
Aleksandrov says the mission was an overall success, and that the team “obtained the three-dimensional images and other necessary data that are vital for building a solar power plant on top of the mine.”
Lidar data, along with information from Multiscope’s wide spectrum HDR cameras, helped pilot the vehicle. However, the vehicle can employ autonomous operation for future missions.