There is geojetting which highly pressurized water to bore geothermal tunnels about 5 times faster than conventional tunneling (about 25 meters per day for geojetting.) Geojetting can dig three 50 meter shallow geothermal holes for about 15000 euro.
There are ordinary machines for personal digging. Like the Dingo K9 Digger, which can be bought used for about $10,000-20000 and has a 25 horsepower engine and can dig trenches down to 1.8 meters.
Cluster Charges and Deep Digger
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is examining “cluster charges” which makes blasting rock with shaped charges far more efficient.
The Deep Digger program started undergoing a ‘security review’ in late 2006. Thus there have been no more news updates on the program.
Speculation on Future Super-foxholes
Molecular nanotechnology should enable digital quantum batteries with higher energy density and lighter weight materials with more strength. This will enable more advanced versions of the HULC exoskeleton to incorporate digging equipment (as an option).
Clustered explosives and replicating deep digging along with an exoskeleton with portable backhoe arms would enable a soldier to rapidly dig themselves to 150 feet of depth and have an air supply and be able to dig out later when it is safe.
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