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Description of problem being solved

This project tackles the problem of coal mine accidents which results in the death of
several people per year. It is found that the rate of fatality in the coal mine industry
is nearly six times the rate of for all private industry. And most of these accidents
are due to toxic gases, fires and lack or rescue systems. By implementing a rescue
robot, which can move around in the coal mine industry and detect obstacles as
well as the level of different toxic gases can report them live in real time to the
human control room.

Review of existing similar systems

In earlier versions of the rescue robot, the motor control has been very simple and
problems have occurred when the robot has been driving through rough terrain. If a
command or pathway is send to the motor, the robot should follow this pathway.
This has not been the case if, for instance, one or both wheels start to spin due to
low friction between the wheels and the ground. When this happens, the computer
in the robot thinks that the robot has moved from one place to another when the
true fact is that the robot has just been spinning on the same spot.
Another type of problem that can occur is when the robot drives over surfaces with
a slope. More power is needed when driving upwards than downhill and if the robot
has no information about the slope, this can cause problems.
Attempts to implement motor control with controllers have been unsuccessful on
earlier versions of the robot and the goal with this project is to create a better
solution to the control problem than before.

Feasibility study indicating at least two possible solutions

To solve the problem a self powered, multi-sensor probe can be used. The
probe will be fitted with a number of sensors, including sonar, hazardous gas
detector, and temperature sensor. As the probe is self-powered no external power
source will be necessary. The probe will be deployed from a safe distance and as the
probe travels through the mines it will send back valuable data to surface. This data
can then be processed to get a good understanding of the inner conditions of the
mine. It should be noted that the probe would not have any navigational capabilities
and thus will rely on initial external forces for its motion.
A second solution could be rescue robots. Rescue robots can be used in
replacement of human in the assistance of performing hazardous tasks. This call for
a development of robot which can survey the affected area ahead of human and
make sure that the environment is safe for other people to enter into the affected

area. Also, this robot can be controlled by human rescue team which will roam
around and give live feedback in the control room in case of an accident so that the
rescue team can be immediately informed.
Solutions adopted and the reasons for that
Out of the above two solutions the solution that has been adopted is the rescue
robot because in this project we are giving emphasis on developing a system that
can be controlled, will be low cost and embedded with the technologies such as
obstacle detector, gas detector. To succeed in this attempt we designed the project
using an (name of controller) microcontroller which has low power consumption,
long lasting and fast in terms of processing. Unlike detection probe where we cannot
control the movement, the rescue robot is designed in such a way so that it
movements can be controlled by any computer or smartphone which has a
bluetooth receptor, allowing wider range of operation.