Remote-Controlled Mine Rescues
You might not know it from all the press coverage lately, but the number of US mining
disasters has actually been dropping from a high of 356 in the period of 1901 to 1925 to
only 17 from 1976 to the present, according to the US Mine Rescue Association.
Nevertheless, we're talking about 60 to 70 mining accident deaths in the USA every year,
and thousands around the world, so it looks like Sandia National Laboratories'
( www.sandia.gov) Gemini-Scout Mine Rescue Robot is a pretty good idea.
Designed to scoot ahead of human rescuers, detect dangers, and provide relief to
trapped miners, the bot can move through up to 18 inches of water, crawl over boulders
and rubble piles, and even help plan rescue operations. Less than four feet long and two
feet tall, the unit can navigate around tight corners and over safety hatches a foot high. It
also can haul food, air packs, and medicine to trapped miners.
Gemini-Scout is equipped with two-way radios and can be configured to drag survivors
to safety. The remote-controlled machine also sports gas sensors and a thermal camera to
help locate survivors, plus a high-mounted pan-and-tilt camera that spots obstacles at a
distance. Its electronics are housed in explosion-proof casings, so it doesn't have to worry
much about methane. Unfortunately, the bot isn't expected to be commercially available
until the end of next year, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration will be the
primary customer for now.
According to Jon Salton, Sandia engineer and project manager, "We anticipate that this
technology is broad enough to be appealing to other first responders, such as police, firefighters, and medical personnel.
Gemini-Scout could easily be fitted to handle earthquake and fire scenarios, and we think this could provide real relief in
currently inaccessible situations." SV
The Gemini-Scout is equipped
to handle many obstacles —
including rubble piles and
flooded rooms — to help
rescuers reach trapped miners.
Photo by Randy Montoya.
STEER WINNING ROBOTS
Perform proportional speed, direction, and steering with only two Radio/Control channels for vehicles using two
separate brush-type electric motors mounted right and left
with our mixing RDFR dual speed control. Used in many
successful competitive robots. Single joystick operation: up
goes straight ahead, down is reverse. Pure right or left twirls
vehicle as motors turn opposite directions. In between stick
positions completely proportional. Plugs in like a servo to
your Futaba, JR, Hitec, or similar radio. Compatible with gyro
steering stabilization. Various volt and amp sizes available.
The RDFR47E 55V 75A per motor unit pictured above.
Introducing the MEGAMOTO!
; 7V-28V - H-bridge or Dual Half-bridge
; 13A Continuous -
; Current sensor output can be sent to any analog pin
; Up to three units can be stacked on one Uno/Duemilanove
; Independent half-bridges can control brushless/steppers too!
High-Current motor control for Arduino;
NEW! Wasp RC Speed Control
; 6V-28V - 10A / 30A peak!
; Limit switch inputs
; Tiny size 1.85” x 0.65”
Dalf Motion Control System
; Closed-loop control of two motors
; Full PID position/velocity loop
; Trapezoidal path generator
; Windows GUI for all features
; Giant Servo Mode!
; C source for routines provided
; PIC18F6722 CPU
SERVO 12.2011 9
Phone: 253-843-2504 ; firstname.lastname@example.org