the groundhog experiment
october 27, 2002 was groundhog day. for the first time, the groundhog robot was
deployed in an abandoned coal mine, too toxic for people to enter. oxygen levels are too low for people to remain concious. the previusly flooded mine had been partially drained in the days before the experiment, the ground still covered with toxic mud. the robot advanced more than 30 meters into the mine when the computer box flooded. it was a gift of god that it made it out again. a spectecular day. a second experiment on october 29 led to an even deeper penetration, now with a water-sealed computer box. the robot was more than 50% submersed. life video feed was broadcasted via satellites to a mine safety conference.
groundhog is scheduled to go again on november 5, this time into a dry mine. stay tuned as the journey unfoleds.
all photographic images below are availabe at 3008x2000 pixels resolution. they are copyrighted by sebastian thrun of carnegie mellon university