Rhino: An Autonomous Robot for Mapping Underground Mine Environments

by   Christopher Tatsch, et al.

There are many benefits for exploring and exploiting underground mines, but there are also significant risks and challenges. One such risk is the potential for accidents caused by the collapse of the pillars, and roofs which can be mitigated through inspections. However, these inspections can be costly and may put the safety of the inspectors at risk. To address this issue, this work presents Rhino, an autonomous robot that can navigate underground mine environments and generate 3D maps. These generated maps will allow mine workers to proactively respond to potential hazards and prevent accidents. The system being developed is a skid-steer, four-wheeled unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) that uses a LiDAR and IMU to perform long-duration autonomous navigation and generation of maps through a LIO-SAM framework. The system has been tested in different environments and terrains to ensure its robustness and ability to operate for extended periods of time while also generating 3D maps.


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