On 24 May 2022 a joint webinar was held between UNEXUP, Pipebots, and ROBOMINERS. This virtual meeting was a great opportunity for the engineers and technology developers, as well as other members of these consortia, to share and discuss experiences, lessons learned and challenges that are faced in each of these projects – which are dealing with innovation and research on robotics:
- UNEXUP: A robot-based exploration service – spatial and geoscientific – for mines and other underwater environments.
- ROBOMINERS: ROBOMINERS’ innovative approach combines the creation of a new mining ecosystem with novel ideas from other sectors, in particular with the inclusion of disruptive concepts from robotics, to facilitate EU access to mineral raw materials.
- Pipebots: Pipebots aims to revolutionise buried pipe infrastructure management with the development of micro-robots designed to work in underground pipe networks and dangerous sites.
The first item of the agenda was an offline session, in which all invited participants watched – independently – some pre-recorded videos from the said projects. These videos were focused on the developments and challenges related to the robotic systems, sensors, autonomous control, navigation, communication, among other related topics. Afterwards, the consortium started an e-meeting with an introduction followed by questions and answers about the videos. Next, structured discussions were conducted about the topics:
- Robot communication and power requirements
- Robot autonomy and control
- Robot navigation/SLAM
It was a productive event, with great discussions and active participation of the engineers and developers of the robotic systems. The clustering webinar closed with the scheduling of a follow up meeting to further advance some specific topics, and to talk about further collaboration opportunities between these consortia.