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.
A normal shaped charge will punch a long, narrow hole; a cluster charge will shift a much larger volume of material using an array of several charge detonated simultaneously. This technique will blast out an impressive forty to sixty times as much rock or concrete for the same weight of explosive
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.
If you liked this article, please give it a quick review on Reddit, or StumbleUpon. Thanks
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.