Russell Breeding finds lost miners with the same tech found in guided missiles and the Nintendo Wii
Cost to Develop: $475,000
Time: 2 years
Prototype | | | | | Product
In January 2006, an explosion rocked West Virginias Sago coal mine, trapping 13 miners. Rescuers searched an area 500 feet wide by two miles long and didnt reach the miners until 41 hours after the blast, eventually pulling out 12 bodies and one survivor. Jim Ponceroff, who led a rescue team, says that the biggest challenge in recovering miners is locating them quickly so that engineers can drill a borehole for fresh air and, ultimately, rescue. Sago, like most of the countrys nearly 900 active mines, relied on radios that transmit signals over a thin wire thats easily damaged in a cave-in.