Tuesday 16th August 2022

“Robot Spider” Used To Map 3D Imaging Of The Naracoorte Caves


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3D mapping of the Naracoorte Caves. Credit: Matthew King LinkedIn

A group of students from the University of Adelaide have built a 3D scan of the Naracoorte Caves using a “robot spider”. 

The project called CaveX saw the group create 15 iterations of the model before settling on a final design on a set of six legs, to prevent damage to the caves’ surface and enable it to traverse uneven terrain with a variety of different gaits. 

Naracoorte Caves, located in South Australia’s southeast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and national park home to stalactites, stalagmites and prehistoric fossils.

The students hope the robot will help them find new cave entrances where they will unearth new fossil deposits. 

“We’re looking at the cave surface to find new cave entrances which will hopefully lead to new fossil deposits. That will help us enhance the range of knowledge on the fossils that are here.”

– Craig Williams, one of the PhD students who worked on the project, speaking to ABC Australia.

The students hope a new generation of students will advance the prototype’s capabilities by using new technologies like computer vision AI. 

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