Tlaloc II-TC Robot Explores Mexico’s Ancient Temple Of Quetzalcoatl
The idea of using a robot to go where a human wouldn’t has been a popular one in science fiction, and to a lesser degree, in reality as well. Robots capable of performing such feats haven’t been around all that long, but the concept of sending in the robots has just been made a bit more credible thanks to plans to send in a robot to the Teotihuacan archaeological site in Mexico to finish off the exploration, where humans would have a much tougher time reaching.
The tunnel, discovered under the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, or Quetzalcoatl, is believed to lead to a chamber almost 2,000 years old, probably a place where dignitaries of the pre-Columbian city received their investiture or were buried, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.
Experts expected to find just one ancient chamber at the end of a stretch of the 2,000-year-old unexplored tunnel at the site. Instead, the remote-controlled vehicle has beamed back images of three mysterious caverns.
The three-foot-long investigator, named Tlaloc II-TC after the Aztec god of rain, was first lowered into the depths of the pyramid to check it was safe for human entry.
This is only the “third time anywhere in the world that such an automaton [has been] used to design excavation strategies,” adds HispanicallySpeakingNews.com.
The Tlaloc II-TC looks almost like a robotic version of a “rat rod,” except with tracks instead of wheels, sloped downward to almost look like a wedge. That makes it well-suited for operating in small, tight spaces like the last part of a tunnel in the Teotihuacan site.
Tlaloc II-TC is equipped with a video cameras and a mechanical arm to clear obstacles out of its way as it maneuvers through the tight passageway.
Excellent use of drones, we must say!
[Daily Mail, BLDG BLOG]