Posts

ROBOMINERS Project Meeting, Tampere, January 2023

The ROBOMINERS Project teams joined together in Tampere, Finland, to discuss the current status of the project and next steps in the development of a unique mining technology line. The project will finish in November 2023, so it is important to discuss issues and work together to achieve the goals. This meeting was held on the 24, 25 and 26 January 2023. From the side of La Palma Research Centre, two members of the team were there to contribute to discussions.

The first day was dedicated to the presentation of the status of the 9 relevant Work Packages, which covered topics ranging from technical (Simulations, virtual prototyping, scale model experiments, Miner design and prototype development, etc) and less technical (Active roadmapping & clusters, Integrated sustainability assessment, etc). LPRC, who leads the Active roadmapping & clusters Work Package, presented the activities of 2022 and what are the next steps. The day finished with technical discussions between the partners.

On the second, LPRC hosted a Workshop with the project partners dedicated to the Preparation for Pilots. Divided between two groups lead by LPRC members, the workshop aimed at collecting information about the site selection for testing the technology in 2030 and for commercial application in 2050. A paralell objective was to gather data on future research pathways that are interesting for the ROBOMINERS technology line.  After the workhsop, more technical discussions were held. The day was complemented with a visit to a nearby museum.

The final day was dedicated to the preparation of the upcoming field activities: integration of the robot-miner between different partners, testing in laboratory conditions and demonstrations with the miner in the real environemnt.

LPRC will now process the details and information collected during the workshops and will use the data to implement the remaining Tasks: Preparation for Pilots and Roadmapping.

Follow ROBOMINERS on the website and its social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube) to learn more about and keep informed with the project!

LPRC leads the SEAWINGS project!

La Palma Research Centre is the coordinator of a recently-funded EDF (European Defence Fund) project that has just started – SEAWINGS (Sea/Air Interphasic Wing-In-Ground Effect Autonomous Drones). The project was submitted to the Call “Open call dedicated to SMEs for development of innovative and future-oriented defence solutions”. The project will last for 42 months and has received a total funding of almost 4 Million Euros.

The SEAWINGS project will develop a new class of military surveillance drones to operate in the sea/air interface giving rise to a new type of unmanned craft, Unmanned Wing-In-Ground Vehicles, capable of very high payloads, inexpensive, long range that do no require infrastructure or launch vehicle for departure and landing.

The consortium for this innovative project includes:

  • La Palma Research Centre SL (Coordinator) – Spain
  • Universidad Politecnica de Madrid – Spain
  • INESC TEC – Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Tecnologia e Ciencia – Portugal
  • Trisolaris Advanced Technologies, Lda. – Portugal
  • Zanasi Alessandro SRL – Italy
  • Porvalor – Ativos de Engenharia Lda. – Portugal

More information can be found on the following images:

LPRC organizing the UNEXUP Final Conference!

The UNEXUP project, funded by EIT RawMaterials, held its final conference in Brussels – Belgium, on 18th November 2022. This event was organized by the La Palma Research Centre.

With the objective to present the project’s outcomes, robotic development, field missions and commercialization of the unique technology, participants also had the opportunity to watch the UX-1Neo robot in action inside the pool of Nemo33. LPRC chose Nemo33 as the venue for the event, which is a diving school with the necessary facilities to deploy UX-1Neo underwater.

The event kickstarted with welcome words given by the project coordinator (Norbert Zajzon), followed by a presentation about the overview and progress of the UNEXUP project during the last three years. The next presentation was dedicated to 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. After that, the CEO of UNEXMIN GeoRobotics (UGR) 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 about the post-processing & geological interpretation of the data collected by the robot. Finally, for the last session of the conference, the demonstration of UX-1Neo performing underwater autonomously in Nemo33 pool, was done.

The UNEXUP Final Conference was a successful event for the consortium to present to the audience what was accomplished in the past three years, and to discuss about the future of the technology and the consortium. LPRC is glad to be part of this project and to have organised such a successful event!

UNEXUP Consortium Meeting, Ljubljana, July 2022

The UNEXUP project partners met in Ljubljana – Slovenia, as well as online, for the 5th progress meeting. The hybrid event was held on 5 and 6 July 2022, with the purpose of discussing what has been achieved in the past semester (since the last Progress Meeting in January 2022), and to plan the activities to be completed until the end of the project – in December 2022.

The meeting started with a clustering workshop between the UNEXUP, ROBOMINERS and Pipebots projects. After that, the Work Package leaders presented their work, followed by short discussions about the covered topics – which closed the first day of the event. On the 6th of July the meetings resumed with open discussions about post-processing of underwater images, the draft agenda of the UNEXUP Final Conference, as well as a visit to the facilities of the partner – and host of the event – GeoZS (Geological Survey of Slovenia).

In this opportunity, LPRC (portrayed by Marcio Tameirão) presented the progress of Work Package 4: Communication, dissemination and outreach, which it leads. The talk covered the updates on the main tasks, such as communication and dissemination management; production of outreach materials; and collaboration with the promotion of UGR (UNEXMIN GeoRobotics) services, the commercialization partner in UNEXUP. The main topic of discussions was the UNEXUP Final Conference, which is planned to happen in November 2022 – in Brussels, Belgium. The partners reviewed the draft agenda that was presented, and jointly made improvements – which will be further discussed in the upcoming months.

This event was the last official Progress Meeting before the UNEXUP Final Conference. In the next months there will be further robotic developments and field missions, and you can stay tuned by following UNEXUP on social media and through the project website!

ROBOMINERS Consortium and Review meeting, Brussels, 29, 30 June and 1 July 2022

The ROBOMINERS consortium met in the capital of Europe, Brussels, for the most recent project meeting, which was coupled with a field visit and a review meeting with the European Commission-related personnel.

The meeting agenda started with a field trip to the South of Belgium to see the ROBOMINERS prototype in action in the field on 29 June, where the project partners had the chance to see the prototype (currently in development) in action.

On the following day, 30 June, the consortium members got together to discuss the state of project – with a review on the past, present and future status of all the operating Work Packages. La Palma Research Centre presented WP8 – Active roadmapping and Clustering, providing a view on the clustering activities and the many foresight actions towards future ROBOMINERS roadmaps. In the afternoon, which was dedicated to internal workshops and discussion groups, LPRC organised a visioning workshop with the participation of several project members. Data obtained from this interactive exercise will be used for implementation of the Work Package 8 foresight methodology.

On the 1st of July it was time for the Review meeting with the European Commission. The Work Packages leaders presented the work done and answered the questions and doubts put forwarded by the reviewers. Luís Lopes from LPRC represented Work Package 8.

Work within ROBOMINERS will now continue with technological development and integration into the prototype, aiming at the field tests of 2023. This work will be supported by foresight analysis developed and implemented by LPRC and ethical, environmental and economical analysis made by other project partners.

Follow the project through its website and social media to be up to date with ROBOMINERS developments!

LPRC members participate in a joint Clustering workshop with PIPEBOTS/UNEXUP/ROBOMINERS

La Palma Research Centre participated in a recent tri-project clustering event. The clustering action, mainl developed by the PIPEBOTS project with help from the UNEXUP and ROBOMINERS projects (where LPRC is a partner), focused on robotics-related discussions, especially with the use of robotics in harsh environments.

Prior to the clustering event, thematic videos on the three projects were submitted in advance for consultation. The videos worked around presenting the projects and connected to specific themes such as Communications and power, Autonomy, and Navigation. A total of twenty-two participants were present to discuss the projects and robotics themes. LPRC was represented by two members.

This Clustering event, after an interesting debate, showcased that there are development and implementation issues common to the three projects and that a good way to move forward is to join forces and share best ideas. There is also the possibility to organise a new joint clustering and dissemination event for further collaboration.

LPRC is co-responsible for the Clustering actions within the ROBOMINERS project and leads the Communication and Dissemination efforts in UNEXUP.

Call for experts – ROBOMINERS Delphi Survey

The LPRC team would like to invite you to answer to the ROBOMINERS Delphi Survey Round 2 as an expert in mining / geosciences topics: https://webgate.acceptance.ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/ROBOMINERSDelphiSurvey2ndRound.

The ROBOMINERS Delphi Survey presents a series of statements about the future (2050) on topics relevant for the vision and implementation of its technology line. You, as a participant, are invited to freely comment and express opinion on those topics.

In particular, this Survey is the 2nd round of the Delphi Survey which builds upon the comments and statistics made by the experts in Round 1. You can find the statistics and highlights from the previous Round here. This will be the last round and after all data is collected from experts it will be processed and a final document with the results will be produced.

The ROBOMINERS concept

Participation in the survey takes approximately 30 minutes and your answers will be kept strictly confidential and anonymous.

Thank you for your help!

About Delphi Surveys

The Delphi survey was originally developed as a technological forecasting technique, which aimed at reaching consensus over relevant technological developments. Nowadays, Delphi Surveys have expanded into a variety of modified approaches. However, at its core, the Delphi method stands out as a reliable method in situations where individual judgements must be elicited and combined to address an incomplete state of knowledge. The Delphi method is based on anonymous opinions of experts who are fed back the results of a round-based survey, allowing these experts to rethink their judgement and converge to consensus over key identified areas.

LPRC contributes to the 4th UNEXUP 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 in virtual mode. 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.

LPRC is the leader of WP4 – Communication, dissemination and outreach, whose tasks are related to the communication & dissemination management, development and maintenance of the outreach tools, and raising market interest. In this context, Márcio Tameirão presented the past, current, and future activities and tools to support the work plan. In addition, LPRC’s work in WPs 0 (Market strategy and business development portfolio) and 2 (Pilots) were also reflected in their respective presentations. This session was followed by an open discussion and input from the Advisory Board of the project.

The UNEXUP Final Conference will be held in Brussels, Belgium, and LPRC will provide support related to organization and planning of the agenda and venue. It will be a great opportunity to showcase the robot and engage with stakeholders and potential customers of the exploration service in the final months of the project.

Follow the project on the website for more news.

ROBOMINERS Consortium Meeting with LPRC in Austria

The ROBOMINERS Consortium, in which LPRC participates, hosted its first in-person meeting in almost 2 years. Between the 16 and 18 of November 2021, the partners were in Leoben (Austria) to discuss the evolution of the project. LPRC members Luís Lopes and Márcio Tameirão represented the company in this event. 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.

The first day of the meeting started with the review and updates on the various Work Packages (WPs) of the project. During this session, LPRC presented the work that is being implemented on WP8 – Active Roadmapping and Clustering, which the team leads. The previous work was analyzed and next steps were defined for the months to come. During the afternoon, the consortium was divided into different sessions. In one of this sessions, LPRC hosted an interactive Horizon Scanning Exercise (following a previous one) with the ROBOMINERS experts. This exercise aimed at analysing “hits” – aspects of relevance for the implementation of ROBOMINERS – and study how they can impact and be important for the continuation of the project. The results will now be processed by the LPRC team.

On the second day, the ROBOMINERS partners visited a mine in neighboring Slovenia – Mežica mine – which is under consideration for a test site location for the project’s demonstrations. On the third and final day, and back to Leoben, the project hosted its 2nd Clustering event entitled “The key technological obstacles towards a fully autonomous robotic mining (eco)system”, a Twinning Event organised between Leoben, Brussels and online. LPRC took part in the preparation of this Clustering event.

Follow the project developments on its website and social media channels!

LPRC joins PRO-ACT project TRR session

On 16 February 2021, the PRO-ACT project had its TRR – Test Readiness Review – meeting with the EC and an elected group of space experts – the PSA. Our team took part of this meeting to present results on the preparation of the artificial lunar analogue for the final demonstrations.

The meeting got together all the project partners and reviewers to show results, analyse outcomes and prepare the final demonstrationa activities in a series of presentations and organic discussions. The presentations mainly about WP4 – Manufacturing, Assembly, Integration and Test. As part of the work developed under this Work Package, LPRC (Luís Lopes) presented the design and preparation of the lunar analogue for the final project demonstrations. This lunar analogue is established in Bremen, Germany, at DFKI’s (one of the project partners facilitites). Luís gave an overview of the activities that resulted in the creation of this artificial lunar analogue, including details on the testbed, the simulant chosen as regolith representative and the distribution of the testing elements in the available space.

Follow the PRO-ACT website for more news on this exciting project!