Tunnel Cam Robot

This isn't really a story about a science fiction prediction that came true, but it's an idea and a story I can't resist. A very cool crawling tunnel cam robot will be used to explore the secret tunnel dug by prisoners in a daring escape more than sixty years ago.


(SuperVision crawler robot tunnel cam)

The archeological team, from John Milner Associates excavated the tunnel's entry and exit in 2005. They used a simple camera to see into the remains of the tunnel interior, discovering the wooden shoring still in place after 61 years, possible wiring for lighting and even the suggestion that tools may remain in the tunnel. The crawler robot should provide more detailed images. The SuperVision crawler has a zoom camera option, modular design, auxiliary lamps and wheel choices.

When twelve inmates escaped through the tunnel in 1945, the story made national headlines. Bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton took public credit for masterminding the escape. It's one of the most famous prison breaks in American history.

Fans of science fiction writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, who collaborated on many fine novels, may recall the Mole, from their 1981 novel Oath of Fealty:

The vehicle Tony Rand was driving was longer than four Cadillacs, and shaped roughly like a .22 Long Rifle cartridge...
(Read more about the Mole)

Even more fun is the Mighty Mole, an underground tunneling machine and vehicle from the 1960 vintage DC comic Cave Carson.


(Cave Carson and the Mighty Mole)

I hope those guys operating the SuperVision tunnel cam keep an eye out for those lava monsters.

Read more about the Crawler' Robot to Explore Abandoned Prison Escape Tunnel; thanks to The Raw Feed for digging this one up.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/4/2006)

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