This study presents the concept of shaft constructed by raise boring in underground mines, and the idea of inverse construction can be extended to other fields of underground engineering. The conventional raise boring methods, such as the wood support method, the hanging cage method, the creeping cage method, and the deep-hole blasting method, are analyzed and compared. In addition, the raise boring machines are classified into different types and the characteristics of each type are described. The components of a raise boring machine including the drill rig, the drill string and the auxiliary system are also presented. Based on the analysis of the raise boring method, the rock mechanics problems during the raise boring process are put forward, including rock fragmentation, removal of cuttings, shaft wall stability, and borehole deviation control. Finally, the development trends of raise boring technology are described as follows: (i) improvement of rock-breaking modes to raise drilling efficiency, (ii) development of an intelligent control technique, and (iii) development of technology and equipment for nonlinear raise boring.