Robotic blimp drone to explore Giza Pyramid hidden chamber

That's a cool blimp drone.

    2017/12/18

NSFW    PARIS — Researchers are developing a blimp-like drone that can explore a newly discovered hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Research institutions Inria and the French National Center for Scientific Research are designing the drone to squeeze through a 1.5-inch hole, before unfolding and inflating, Digital Trends reported.

"The main challenge is to insert a complete exploration robot in a hole that is as small as possible," Inria researcher Dr. Jean-Baptiste Mouret told Digital Trends. "It's important to use a hole as small as possible because we want to leave as few traces as we can. This is what we call 'minimally invasive robotics.' We chose a diameter of 1.5 inches because it is a good trade-off between the size of the hole, the kind of machines that can bore holes, and the current robotic technologies."

The blimp model was chosen over conventional multi-rotor drones because it's safer the surrounding environment during exploration.
The blimp drone can make contact with obstacles without damaging the monument. They are also more stable than multi-rotor drones, which is important for taking photos in low-light conditions.

The camera equipped drone will be remotely operated by radio, however can also operate autonomously via small onboard sensors.
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