The UNEXUP Final Conference

The UNEXUP project, funded by EIT RawMaterials, held its final conference in Brussels – Belgium, on 18th November 2022. The main objective of this event was to present the project outcomes, robotic development, field missions, commercialization and more. In addition, the participants had the opportunity to watch the UX-1Neo robot in action. The chosen venue was Nemo33, which is a diving school with the necessary facilities to deploy UX-1Neo underwater and hold the talks of the conference.

Dr. Norbert Zajzon – Project Coordinator – opened the events with welcome words, followed by a presentation about the overview and progress of the UNEXUP project. The presentation covered the background and context of the project, as well as its objectives and main achievements. The first talk was concluded with a video that summarized the UNEXUP history during the past three years – which will be available on the project’s YouTube channel soon.

After that, Alfredo Martins (INESC TEC) provided a presentation on the complete evolution of the robotic technology: from the UX-1 that was built during the UNEXMIN project, to the UX-1Neo – developed during UNEXUP. The challenges and technical adaptations were covered, according to the requirements by the field missions that were conducted. The next presentation was conducted by Richard Z. Papp, the CEO of UNEXMIN GeoRobotics (UGR). UGR is the responsible partner for the commercialization and go-to-market strategy for the robotic technology. The presentation covered the field missions and main results that were achieved, as well as the commercialization of the spatial and geoscientific surveying missions beyond the UNEXUP lifetime. The final talk was led by Hilco van Moerkerk and Stephen Henley (4dcoders), who presented about the post-processing & geological interpretation of the data collected by the robot. These outcomes intend to provide valuable information from underwater environments for decision-making.

The last session of the conference was dedicated to the demonstration of UX-1Neo performing underwater autonomously in Nemo33 pool. The engineers have programmed the robot to conduct a full scan of the 33m deep pool, which was observed by the participants from the conference room – during the lunch break of the event.

The UNEXUP Final Conference was a successful event for the consortium to present what was accomplished in the past three years, and to discuss the possibilities for collaborations in the future. In addition, external participants had the opportunity to learn more about the added value of the novel robotic technology and to engage with the project partners. Although this event represents the final event of the project, there is still one more field mission to come, stay tuned!


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Call for deep missions!

The objective of our field trials is to provide selected clients the opportunity to unlock the mysteries of their flooded sites and to demonstrate the capabilities of the UX robots in real-life conditions to the wider mining community.

In UNEXMIN we already demonstrated that our technology can flexibly address even the most challenging requirements and needs of the mining community and other sectors that can potentially benefit from the technology. In UNEXUP we extend those capabilities and are developing the technology into a commercial service.

The modularity of UX-1Neo allow the replacement of the multibeam and scanning sonars to be able to perform missions over 1 km of depth. The consortium is looking for potential underwater sites to perform deep #unexupfieldwork and test the functionalities of UX-2 – the new configuration of UX-1Neo!

Can you help us in finding the best place for this purpose? Contact UGR!

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5th Consortium meeting, in person!

The UNEXUP partners met in Ljubljana – Slovenia, as well as online, for the 5th progress meeting of the project. The hybrid event was held on 5 – 6 July 2022, with the purpose of discussing what has been achieved in the past semester, and to plan the activities to be completed until the end of the project – in December 2022. In addition, it was an opportunity to engage with other projects in a clustering event.

The agenda of the meeting started with a follow up clustering workshop that was held on 24th May, comprising UNEXUP, ROBOMINERS and Pipebots. In this occasion, the project coordinators and technology developers of the projects resumed the discussions on research challenges, as well as potential collaborations for the future.

After that, the consortium started an internal consortium meeting (5th progress meeting), following the usual distribution of presentations and discussions:

  • WP0 – Market strategy and business development portfolio: Updates on the commercialization strategy and promotion tools.
  • WP1 – Technology upscaling and development: Improvements on UX-1Neo, strategical development of UX-2, data post-processing, and developed instruments.
  • WP2 – Pilots: Concluded field missions, lessons learned, and future plans for 2022.
  • WP3 – Project Management: Upcoming meetings, milestones, and deliverables to be finalised.
  • WP4 – Communication, dissemination and outreach: Outreach materials, communication activities, and the planning of the UNEXUP Final Conference.

The next day (6th July) was dedicated to open discussions about data post-processing, and the draft agenda of the UNEXUP Final Conference, which was commented and briefly adjusted by the consortium members. This event, and the final (internal) consortium meeting, is likely to happen in the second part of November 2022, in Brussels – Belgium. Stay tuned!

The event was concluded with a visit to the facilities and labs of the Geological Survey of Slovenia, guided by Gorazd Žibret and Emil Pučko, the hosts of the 5th Progress Meeting!

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Pipebots/UNEXUP/ROBOMINERS clustering event!

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.

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UNEXUP presented at EGU General Assembly 2022

The annual General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union, EGU22, is currently taking place between 23 and 27 May 2022, in a hybrid format – both in Vienna, Austria, and online. The event is welcoming several scientists of all nations, and UNEXUP was represented and introduced in a short-oral presentation.

The UNEXUP consortium submitted an abstract under the section ERE4.4 – “Automation and robotics for raw material exploration and production in Europe”, which was approved by the conveners. The section is dedicated to research and innovation in exploration and mining of raw materials, focused on the prospect of developing completely new methods and technologies to find and exploit new mineral deposits within Europe. Amongst these technologies, robotisation and miniaturisation of exploration/production platforms (robotic autonomous explorers & miners) are considered as potential solutions to extract them in a socially and environmentally responsible way, and produce useful metallurgical products which can be used further-on for manufacturing.

In this context, the UNEXUP presentation took place on Monday, 23 May 2022, in online format. The presentation covered general details of the project, as well as its context, objectives, technology, field missions and the commercialization of the innovative exploration service. Afterwards, during the Q&A session, some interested participants asked questions related to the navigation capabilities of UX-1Neo – such as the depth capacity and autonomy time (hours) of the robot.

This annual event is a great opportunity to communicate about UNEXUP achievements towards relevant stakeholders, as well as to follow up on the latest technologies, methods, and R&I in the raw materials sector in Europe.

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UNEXUP 4th Progress Meeting

The UNEXUP consortium had the opportunity to meet in person for the first time since the kick-off-meeting of the project, held in Budapest, Hungary, in early February 2020. During this period of time, three Progress Meetings were held online, due to the travel restrictions and different phases related to the ongoing pandemic that Europe is facing.

The 4th Progress Meeting took place in Porto, Portugal, on 25-26 January 2022, hosted by the partner INESC TEC. The event was hybrid, and the attendance comprised participants both in person and virtually.

The first day of the event was initiated with welcome words and practicalities by the UNEXUP Coordinator Norbert Zajzon, followed by a short presentation about general aspects of the project. After that, the Work Package (WP) leaders were invited to present the progress and future steps of their activities – in the following order:

  • WP0 – Market strategy and business development portfolio: UNEXMIN GeoRobotics (UGR) presented the go-to-market strategy, market analysis and updates on the business plan around the commercialization of the exploration service from UNEXUP technology.
  • WP1 – Technology upscaling and development: The INESC TEC team, University of Miskolc, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Tampere University, and the company 4dcoders introduced the advancements and technical details on robotics, instruments and sensors, as well as post-processing of the data generated from the field missions.
  • WP2 – Pilots: UNEXMIN GeoRobotics led the presentations and discussions about the concluded field missions so far, as well as the potential future opportunities for 2022.
  • WP3 – Project Management: The Project Coordinator Norbert Zazjon (University of Miskolc) provided an overview on the administrative and management part of the implementation of UNEXUP.
  • WP4 – Communication, dissemination and outreach: La Palma Research Centre, as leader of WP4, presented the current status of the communication and outreach activities and tools.

The presentations were followed by a technical visit to the INESC TEC lab, where UX-1Neo was developed and calibrated. After that, the meetings resumed, with the valuable participation of our Advisory Board. This session was dedicated to open discussions and recommendations regarding commercialization, technology, field missions and the promotion strategy, which wrapped up the first day of event.

The following day (26/01) was dedicated to open discussions and decisions regarding key topics to be aligned in the final year of the project. For example: opportunities and schedule of field missions; technological requirements; UNEXUP Final Conference; post-processed data; and more.

In mid-2022 the consortium will be together again for the last Progress Meeting before the Final Conference. The meeting will be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, to plan and discuss the final activities towards the last months of the project. Stay tuned!

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First commercial field mission: the Csor well

In June 2021 the UNEXUP consortium travelled to Hungary to conduct the first commercial mission of UX-1Neo. The mission site was a potable water source in western Hungary – the Csor water well.

The mission was to create a detailed 3D map of the structure of the well, without the need to dewater it or send humans to conduct the survey – which would contaminate the water. The objective was to acquire valuable data that would allow engineers to plan the reconstruction of the well.


The robot was disinfected and launched down the shaft up to a depth of approximately 66 meters. The multibeam sonar allowed the robot to map the environment, while the structured light systems (SLS) improved the mapping by providing further details of the structure. In addition, the photogrammetry cameras gave a realistic impression to the final model of the Csor well.

The mission was accomplished after a single dive!


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Participation of UNEXUP at the RawMat2021!

From 5 – 9 September 2021 the academic community, engineers, scientists, industry executives, stakeholders and policy makers, and other professionals in the field of raw materials have attended the RawMat2021 Conference, an event that took place both in virtual and in person formats. The International Conference on Raw Materials and Circular Economy was held in Athens, Greece, organized by the Technical Chamber of Greece, the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens and the Greek Raw Materials Cluster (GRawMat) under the auspices of SEV Hellenic Federation of Enterprises.

The event was mostly focused on the technological developments and future challenges regarding Raw Materials, with emphasis given on Circular Economy aspects. In this opportunity, the abstract submitted by the UNEXUP consortium was approved to be presented at the event.

The presentation of UNEXUP, titled “UNEXUP, a robot-based surveying technology for flooded mines and other underwater structures” was held on 6 September, under the session SESSION A4 – Mine of the future and transition to Industry 4.0. The presentation covered the overall details of the project, the robotic technology, commercialization, and also the four field missions that took place in the past months.

The project raised interest from the audience, who asked questions about the challenges faced in the field, the commercialization of the exploration service, and the pre-evaluation of the field sites.

The reports and webpages dedicated to the field missions are under development, and will be published on the website and shared on social media whenever they are ready and available. Stay tuned!

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UNEXMIN GeoRobotics (UGR) at Dig Deep – The Mining Podcast!

On 23 August 2021 the UNEXUP project was introduced on Dig Deep – The Mining Podcast, hosted by Rob Tyson. Dig Deep is a podcast dedicated to the mining industry, in which mining professionals are invited to discuss and present new topics, innovations, companies, and news about the sector. This initiative was created by Rob Tyson, the Founder and Director of Mining International – in the UK.

In this occasion, Richárd Zoltán Papp – the CEO of UNEXMIN GeoRobotics, UGR (UNEXUP partner) – was invited to talk about the creation of the company, the offered services, as well as its role in the UNEXUP project. UGR is the company responsible for the organization of the field missions and, mainly, the development of the Go-To-Market strategy for the UNEXUP technology. In addition, Richárd talked about the technological and scientific achievements during the UNEXMIN and UNEXUP projects. He explained the development of the robots, the geoscientific and navigational instrumentation, the performance in the field, as well as the various applications of the technology, not only dedicated to the mining sector, but any underwater environment.


Podcasts are in a steady growth in popularity in the past years, therefore, it was a great opportunity to present the UNEXMIN/UNEXUP projects, the company UNEXMIN GeoRobotics (UGR), and to mention the next steps towards the commercialization of the robot-based exploration technology for flooded environments.

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UNEXUP presented at EGU General Assembly 2021

The EGU General Assembly 2021 (vEGU21: Gather Online) was held in the past two weeks – from 19th to 30th April. This virtual meeting has gathered scientists, researchers, industry members, and the general public from all over the world with a common interest: disciplines related to the Earth, planetary, and space sciences.

In this occasion, the UNEXUP project was presented in session ERE5.4 – Mineral exploration for the XXI Century, on 29th April, and it was highlighted by session conveners as being of public interest. The session counted with 21 presentations (2-minutes each), which were brief opportunities for the presenters to introduce their work to the attendees, followed by a private Q&A session at the end.

The UNEXUP project was present twice in this session:

  1. UNEXUP, a robotic exploration technology for underground flooded mines: At first, Márcio Tameirão (LPRC) presented the project as a whole, focusing on the context, objectives, the UX-1Neo robot, UX-2, field missions, and the commercialization of the technology – introducing the partner UNEXMIN GeoRobotics (UGR).

  1. 3D photogrammetry of flooded mines and caves with the UX-1 series underwater exploration robots – The UNEXUP Project: Afterwards, Richárd Zoltán Papp (UGR / UNIM) gave a presentation focused on the 3D photogrammetry technique, obtained from the built-in RGB cameras of UX-1, which contributes to the acquisition of valuable spatial and geoscientific knowledge from flooded mines and other underwater environments.

In the Downloads page of our website you can find the communication materials that were developed for this event:

The session had an average of 45 attendees, and you can learn more about the event by following the official hashtags #EGU21 | #vEGU21 on social media!


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