Date: 07 Jul 2006

A Case Study in Robotic Mapping of Abandoned Mines

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Abstract

Mining operations depend on current, accurate maps of adjacent mine works to limit the risks of encroachment and breaching. Adjacent mines may be decades or centuries old with missing, inaccurate, or ambiguous maps. Dangers such as flooding, roof-fall, rotten support timbers, and poor ventilation preclude human entry to survey these spaces. Only robots may enter and directly observe these otherwise inaccessible underground voids, providing incontrovertible evidence of the mine’s existence and extent. This presents the configuration of a mobile mine mapping robot, Groundhog, and results from three deployments into coal mines.