Robotics engineers from the Sandia National Laboratories are developing a new device to facilitate rescue efforts in the event of mining accidents. The versatile robot is capable of navigating boulders, crawling through more than a foot of water and scouting potentially dangerous environments.
At approximately four feet long and two feet tall, the device is capable of transporting food, air packs and critical medicine to miners trapped underground. Developers have also ensured intuitive operation by integrating controls with an Xbox 360 controller.
"We have designed this robot to go in ahead of its handlers to assess the situation and potential hazards and allow operations to move more quickly," project manager, Jon Salton, told TG Daily.
To ensure the robot is able to survive harsh conditions, engineers have encased critical electronics, allowing the device to withstand explosions and other disasters. But despite the strength and durability of the gadget, it had to maintain lightweight qualities for improved navigation.
Developers anticipate broad adoption from police, firemen and other first responders when the robot is ready for production. This impressive breakthrough in robotics may soon be a crucial tool for ensuring the safety of all parties involved in mine collapses and other natural disasters.