Earthgrid plans to re-wire grids across the U.S. at record speed and at a fraction of the cost.
By Chris Young
San Francisco-based startup Earthgrid is developing a plasma boring robot that is capable of digging tunnels 100 times faster, and up to 98 percent cheaper than existing boring systems, a report from New Atlas reveals.
The company plans to use its technology to re-wire energy, internet, and utility grids in the U.S.
Meet Earthgrid’s Rapid Burrowing Robot.
Unlike conventional boring machines, which typically use massive cutting wheels to slowly excavate tunnels, Earthgrid’s robot blasts rocks with high temperatures to break and even vaporize them via a process called spallation.
The machine can run on electricity, meaning it can also be emissions-free, depending on how energy is sourced. Earthgrid also claims that its system, which doesn’t need to come into contact with the rocks directly as it excavates, is so fast and cheap it will open up a whole host of possibilities. In other words, projects that were once deemed economically unfeasible will now be possible.
Earthgrid is currently operating on pre-seed funding, and it is developing its “Rapid Burrowing Robot (RBR)”, a spallation boring robot with several 48,600 °F (27,000 °C) plasma torches mounted on large discs.
When operational, the RBR will fire up those torches and rotate the discs to blast the rocky surface in its way. The torches on the discs are arranged in a Fibonacci spiral, meaning they widen out away from the center for full coverage. Debris is collected in small pushcarts.Continue reading… “A new plasma boring robot can dig tunnels 100 times faster and 98% cheaper”