But British startup hyperTunnel has other ideas. He proposes to use robots about m long in the form of half cylinders, which will move underground through pre drilled pipes. The diameter of the pipes will be about mm, and they will repeat the contours of the walls of the future tunnel. Once inside, the robots will use a robotic arm topped with a milling head to penetrate the surrounding ground and carve out small holes, which will then be filled with concrete or other durable material. The structure of the new tunnel will be formed step by step. "We're talking thousands of robots," says hyperTunnel CTO Patrick Lane Knott. "It's very similar to how an ant or termite colony works.
The company even presented a D animation with robots working on an imaginary underground structure of giant dimensions. But that would be like building tunnels in reverse. The use of a traditional TBM (TBM requires first digging a hole and then adding supports or walls to strengthen it. "We put a tunnel in Switzerland WhatsApp Number List the ground and then we dig a hole," Lane Knott says. "Once the structure is built, the material filling the tunnel chamber can be removed." One of the benefits of this, he believes, is that fewer building materials are used overall. The outer thickness of the structure can vary according to the actual geology and pressure surrounding the tunnel at any given point.
Experts agree that the industry needs technological solutions to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Now it can take years to design and build a TBM and then finally dig a tunnel with it. A number of new companies are emerging that promise to change the situation from Elon Musk's Boring Company to hyperTunnel and projects developing new high temperature methods of blasting the strongest rocks on Earth. "There's a lot going on, and I think that's a good thing, because tunneling has to improve," says Jasmine.