Commercialisation of the innovative exploration service for Europe’s flooded underground mines

A consortium of eight organisations, from six different European countries, are working on the upscaling of the Horizon 2020 UNEXMIN project (2016-2019) – UNEXUP, supported by EIT RawMaterials. In UNEXMIN the objective was to develop and test the UX-1 multi-robot platform to survey underwater environments and gather high-quality and high-resolution geological, mineralogical and topographic information from currently inaccessible sites. Now in UNEXUP, the objective is to bring commercial interest to the technology, to be launched as a mine mapping/exploration service, while still improving the system’s software, hardware and capabilities.

An additional robot is going to be added to the multi-robot platform, in order to widen the range of possibilities and capabilities that the technology can offer to the clients. Among these:

  • better data acquisition and management
  • further downsizing
  • extended ranging capabilities
  • improved self-awareness and decision making
  • matured post-processing (such as the deployment of 3D virtual reality models)
  • interaction with the data

Upgrading the overall technology with these tools, and possibly additional ones will allow the system to operate with more reliability and security, with reduced costs. 

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The technology will be put into test under challenging conditions, not only to test the robots’ performance but also to demonstrate its abilities to the potential customers – as a commercial showcase. A strong business component and market integration are one of the main goals of the project. UNEXMIN GeoRobotics Ltd., a joint company created by the UNEXMIN consortium partners, will drive the UNEXUP commercial approach. 

The UNEXUP kick-off meeting was held on 6-7 February 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. In this opportunity, the consortium partners met to discuss the work plan and align the strategy in order to take the project’s next steps.

UNEXUP project consortium:

  • University of Miskolc, Hungary (Lead partner)
  • Geological Survey of Slovenia, Slovenia
  • Tampere University, Finland
  • Universidad Politécnica Madrid, Spain
  • La Palma Research Centre, Spain
  • INESC TEC, Portugal
  • Resources Computing International – 4dcoders, UK
  • UNEXMIN GeoRobotics Ltd., Hungary