Screw-power amphibious robotic can be coming to a tailings pond close to you.

When mines extract oil or ore from different materials, they frequently generate liquid waste referred to as tailings. This waste is saved in tailings ponds, which must be constantly monitored – and that is wherein the omnidirectional, amphibious Helix Neptune robot is designed to be available.

The Helix Neptune

Manufactured through Canadian robotics organisation Copperstone Technologies, the battery-powered Neptune does not have wheels or treads, however alternatively moves alongside in all guidelines on 4 screw-fashioned pontoons. As the pontoons independently rotate, they flow the robot throughout dry soil, mud, and the floor of the water in tailings ponds.

The Helix Neptune recommendations the scales at 875 lb (397 kg), and may deliver a payload of 2 hundred lb (ninety one kg)Copperstone Technologies

While any such screw-power gadget isn’t always an unusual sight, it is clearly additionally now no longer unprecedented. Over the years, we have got visible it carried out to the whole thing from land-going yachts to hill-hiking snowboards to Titan-exploring rovers.

As the Neptune travels onto and throughout the ponds – both autonomously or through faraway control – it makes use of onboard sensors to accumulate water facts including chemical and oxygen content, at the side of turbidity and salinity. If it is decided that sufficient of the pollution have settled to the lowest of the pond (forming a sludge), a number of the closing water can be reclaimed for reuse withinside the mine.

The Helix Neptune has a pinnacle pace of nine mph (15 km/h) on land, and four knots at the waterCopperstone Technologies

Additionally, the robot measures the intensity of the water. This is a crucial piece of information, because the water paperwork is a “cap” that covers the poisonous sludge beneath. Needless to say, that cap must be saved at a given minimal intensity, to preserve the sludge out of touch with the encompassing environment.

Neptune also can accumulate water/sludge samples, each on the floor and at a number of depths, the usage of a powered winch … however could not human beings carry out these kinds of duties?

“In some pounds, it’s miles extra feasible to deliver a person in a boat. It’s a massive operation, because in reality you want to have a backup boat, and there are those styles of safety concerns,” Copperstone co-founder Nicolas Olmedo instructed us. “When something takes place and anyone gets hurt, it is now no longer allowed anymore, so that they must search for different solutions – and that is wherein we might be available.”

That said, the robot does produce other applications. Equipped with an ice drill, for instance, it could be used to test the thickness of probably treacherous ice roads on frozen lakes. It can also be used to carry out surveillance or reconnaissance in difficult-to-attain locations.

The Helix Neptune can reportedly run for up to 8 hours on one fee of its lithium-polymer battery percent Copperstone Technologies

The Neptune was first added a year ago, and has for the reason been used by some customers in numerous countries. Copperstone is presently imparting the generation in robotic-as-a-provider form, in which operators will be available and carry out duties for customers, alternatively of getting them purchase a robot on their own.

This Thursday withinside the town of Montreal, the organisation acquired a Mitacs Outstanding Entrepreneur Award in reputation of its robotics gadget. Mitacs is a government-funded non-earnings organisation, which seeks to foster technical innovation in Canada.

You can see the Helix Neptune in action, withinside the video below.

HELIX Neptune Amphibious Robots Screw-propelled vehicle

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Sources: Mitacs, Copperstone Technologies

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