Vehicles photo

Shiny metallic carapaces once lined the museum floor, a testament to man’s vanity and industrial prowess. Last February, as a reminder of the primal power of earth itself, the ground opened up beneath the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky, swallowing the cars. But humanity enlisted the aid of machines to fight back, first exploring the cavernous void with drones, and now using remote-control construction vehicles to plug the gap.

Unmanned vehicles are ideal for work dangerous terrain, as the human drivers can still remotely control their actions but all the squishy, easily damaged parts of a person are safely removed from the vehicle in case the terrain slips again.

Sinkholes like this are almost an inevitability of the Bluegrass State’s geography. Kentucky has conditions ideal for karst terrain, where over years water erodes highly soluble rocks like limestone, creating caves, fissures, and occasionally a brand-new sinkhole.