Pyramids and small robotic explorers

17 Aug 2010

At www.csmonitor.com August 16th there is news of a robot developed at Leeds University which is designed to penetrate deeper into the Great Pyramid at Giza than ever before - known as the Djedi Project. No doubt it will be big news if anything is found, but there are a lot of ifs involved in what is a nice bit of technology. The robot will explore a shaft otherwise found inaccessible by previous robotic attempts and the hope is that a hidden chamber will be found. However, there are a few problems to overcome before such a prize. The new robot has a fibre optic camera that enables it to peer round corners and bends, and a probe to test the nature of the rock encountered. The really clever bit is that it also has a releasable mini robot capable of entering spaces as small as 0.7 inches in diameter. It is specifically designed to breach a stone door previously found blocking the shaft - which starts at the so called Queens Chamber and leads downwards - but to where? The shaft in the Kings Chamber leads skywards - towards the heavens and the abode of the gods. What was thought to lie beneath the ground? Did earth tremors play a role in Egyptian mythology?