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Robot captures never-before-seen footage uncovering secrets from inside Great Pyramid of Giza

Niamh Shackleton

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Robot captures never-before-seen footage uncovering secrets from inside Great Pyramid of Giza

Featured Image Credit: Nick Brundle Photography/ leeds.ac.uk

For years people have wondered what's inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, sparking dozens of archeological digs.

But, there's only so far these digs had taken researchers as some parts of the 4,500 year old Egyptian pyramid are too small for humans to get to.

Until now that is, as a robot has obtained never-before-seen footage from unexplored areas of the pyramid. Check it out below:

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What's described as a 'blocking stone' in the Queen's Chamber was discovered in the pyramid in 1993, but what was behind it and the purpose of it has long remained a mystery.

The shaft sits at an awkward 40-degree angle, and measures only 20cm by 20cm.

While only small, it goes back as a far as 60 meters.

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Fast forward to 2011 and a team of researchers decided to create a robot that could film the inside of the shaft to see what was inside.

Dubbed 'The Djedi Project', international and Egyptian experts came together to create the device.

The team was managed by the University of Leeds, UK, and supported by Dassault Systèmes in France.

The tiny robot took 5 years to create. Credits: Ancient Architects/YouTube
The tiny robot took 5 years to create. Credits: Ancient Architects/YouTube
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Speaking about the robot, Professor Rob Richardson, part of the Robotics at Leeds research group, said: "This design was certainly challenging. The robot had to be extremely lightweight - and in the end we got it down to 5kg.

"Because it was so light, it did not require a lot of power - in the end, the challenges started to become opportunities.

"We developed a system that moved the robot very gently through the passageway."

While challenging, the team successfully managed to develop the robot. It took them five years to create.

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The project went on to film and whopping nine hours of raw footage, and the footage unveiled some secrets from within the shaft.

Mysterious red markings were discovered in the shaft. Credits: Ancient Architects/YouTube
Mysterious red markings were discovered in the shaft. Credits: Ancient Architects/YouTube

"About 50 meters along the shaft – several meters before what we think is the end, there is a stone put in place to block further access," said Professor Richardson.

"We do not know what that stone is blocking access to. We were able to get a camera past the stone – it revealed a small chamber with intricate symbols painted on the floor."

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With the artwork in mind, Professor Richardson suggested that the shaft 'served a bigger purpose than act as an air vent'.

That purpose is still unclear, however.

Back in 2020, a documentary on the project was released titled The Robot, The Dentist and The Pyramid.

The name of the documentary gives the nod to Hong Kong dentist and inventor Dr Tze Chuen Ng, who threw down the challenge of creating the bot to explore the pyramid.

The Robot, The Dentist and The Pyramid is available to watch on the Ancient Architects YouTube channel here.

Topics: Technology, News, World News

Niamh Shackleton
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