NIOSH Seeks Proposals on Robotics Technologies for Mine Rescues

One requirement is that the technologies/systems be able to remove injured miners or carry heavy loads into and out of the mine for the rescue teams on a fully or semi-autonomous basis.

NIOSH announced that its Office of Mine Safety and Health Research is seeking proposals for practical robotics technologies or systems that can be used by the mining community to support self-escape or mine rescue efforts.

OMSHR is interested in proposals on robotics technologies or systems that meet these goals:

  • Able to be lowered through boreholes and then navigated through the mine providing visual and atmospheric information to the operator on the surface.
  • Able to explore several thousand feet ahead of rescue teams and provide visual and atmospheric information to the rescue team members following behind the advancement of the robot.
  • Able to remove injured miners or carry heavy loads into and out of the mine for the rescue teams on a fully or semi-autonomous basis.

"In addition to the above objectives, the robotics technologies or systems should be designed so that the electronics and other components on the robot do not introduce the possibility of an ignition if they encounter an explosive environment. The proposed solution to this particular issue can be either a general solution, applicable to any technologies, or incorporated with a solution to one of the three topic areas described previously," according to the announcement.

Details about the solicitation are available on FedBizOpps.gov under solicitation number 2014-N-15806. Submissions must be received by May 14, 2014. More details about the solicitation and how to submit proposals are available here.

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