The team of enthusiasts of the South Korean Institute of science and technology (KAIST) has developed an unusual robot, prototypes of which were European and the African mole gopher. For digging tunnels the mole uses its powerful front legs, throwing the loosened earth and its distant African “relative” digging tunnels with strong teeth, incisors.
The robot dimensions 84 x 25 cm, weight 26 kg. Cutters he replaces a device resembling a drill. To the extent that, as it rotates, crushing the soil, its foldable serrated blade POPs out, making a passage whose diameter exceeds the diameter of the robot body. Then there are two hinged metal flange and, like the paws of a mole, throw the loosened soil. Drill and flanges work alternately, periodically replacing each other.
The rear part of the robot head are connected to rotary mechanical “waist” and has three tracks that provide forward. Robot mole can navigate and position themselves relative to the magnetic poles of the Earth.
Initially it was developed for missions on other planets, but in his native earth, it can be successfully used in the mining industry. In comparison with existing drilling systems, the robotic mole is much cheaper, requires less human labor and more environmentally friendly.
Source — KAIST