Robots could descend into old mines to prevent toxic spills

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DENVER (AP) - Scientists are developing robots that may one day be able to creep through old mines to help prevent environmental disasters.

The Colorado mountains have dozens of inactive mines that are filled with polluted water. If it leaks out, the water can devastate the surrounding landscape.

The first step in addressing the problem is finding out what's inside the mines, some of which date to the 1860s. That's where the robots come in. They could navigate the pitch-black passages to map the mines and analyze the water.

The robots could take several years to develop. They might resemble golf carts and cost $90,000 each.

In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released 3 million gallons of mustard-colored water from the Gold King Mine. The spill tainted rivers in three states.

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