The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that it successfully conducted the pre-planned route tracing test of the manganese nodule mining robot, ‘MineRo’ (weight: 28 tons), on the seafloor as deep as 1,370 meters in the seas 130km east-southeastward away from Pohang. The tracing test was conducted for 8 days from July 19 to 26.
Since it received in 2002 a right to exclusively explore a mine lot (in area of 75,000km²) in the Clarion-Clipperton waters 2,000km southeastward from Hawaii from the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the government has been developing technologies for exploring and commercially developing manganese nodules on the 5,000 meter-deep seafloor.
The running tests of the mining robot, MineRo, on the deep seafloor was conducted in two ways; seafloor running test to see whether it can move along desired circulation and the test of deep sea navigation and route tracing to verify whether the robot can be remotely controlled on board a ship.
In seafloor running tests, the MineRo robot successfully completed verification test by moving along desired circulation under adverse conditions of the deep seafloor with indented and flimsy ground, while keeping running performances, such as direction control, straight driving and turning around.
For full article, see Korea Energy.