A north China plant will start producing coalmine rescue robots that can enter hazardous sites to collect data when accidents happen.

Kaicheng Electronic in Tangshan has designed a robot equipped with blast-proof armour and chained wheels, and received manufacturing approval to produce them.

The company will produce 1800 robots annually from 2012 onwards, reports Xinhua.

More than 2,600 miners were killed in mining accidents in China last year.