Military robot prepares to help New Zealand miners

A military robot equipped with cameras and a cable may be deployed at a mine in New Zealand where an explosion has trapped a group of miners

Twenty-nine miners trapped in a New Zealand coal mine may be rescued by a military robot used by police to help end a three-day gun battle last year.

The robot is on standby with demolition specialists at the Pike River mine where a gas explosion trapped the miners on Friday. If deployed, the robot will descend into the mine to capture details of a trapped underground loader that is blocking an access path. However, the site will first need to be cleared of dangerous gases.

New Zealand robot image

A military defence robot may be deployed to help rescue trapped miners in New Zealand. Photo credit: NZ Defence/ZDNet Australia

The defence force robot, called the Remote Positioning Device Wheelbarrow Revolution, is equipped with four cameras to help it move and aim weapons. It will be fitted with an extension cable to allow it to access the miners, believed to be further down the 2km-long tunnel.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Robot prepares to save NZ miners: photos on ZDNet Australia.