BECKLEY, W.Va. (WOAY) – Miners haven’t extracted coal from the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine in years, but this week, they’ve been working with NASA on something a bit different after hours.
A team from NASA is at the mine this week to test out a number of robots they plan to enter in a competition. The first phase of that project ends next month, so the timer is ticking for the team of 50 from across the globe.
The robots will hopefully end up in space to explore caves on other planets and moons. However, they could serve another purpose: saving lives on Earth.
“The idea is we would be sending a team of robots to a mine or cave or a subway where there has been some type of disaster,” said robotics technologist Benjamin Morrell. “For example, in a mine collapse, they’re going to go in to explore, create maps and look for signs of humans.”
Morrell and one of his team members talked to a few kids at a day camp about their project.
Watch the video for more information.