In 1992, German engineer Rudolf Gantenbrink, explored the shafts in the Queen's Chamber in the Great Pyramid using a crawler robot he designed, called Upuaut II. He discovered that one of the shafts was blocked by what appeared to be a limestone door due to its two eroded copper handles. Upuaut II was unable to navigate around earlier explorers' rods that were jammed in the passage.

In 2002 the National Geographic Society created another robot, iRobot or Pyramid Rover. The iRobot team had a simple solution to Gantenbrink's problem. They turned the robot 90 degrees and sent it up the shaft gripping the walls instead of the ceiling and floor. In this manner, it was able to ride over the top of the obstacles. iRobot's trek up the Northern Shaft revealed another blocked door similar to Gantenbrink's Door.

There are many theories about the purpose of the shafts and doors - some scientific, others pseudoscience. For now the doors appear to be partitions.

In the News ...

Pyramid-Exploring Robot Reveals Hidden Hieroglyphs   Discovery - May 27, 2011

A composite of images of the floor of the Great Pyramid is shown. Red hieroglyphs are visible.
A robot explorer called Djedi, sent through the Great Pyramid of Giza has begun to unveil some of the secrets behind the 4,500-year-old pharaonic mausoleum as it transmitted the first images behind one of its mysterious doors. The images revealed hieroglyphs written in red paint that have not been seen by human eyes since the construction of the pyramid. The pictures also unveiled new details about two puzzling copper pins embedded in one of the so called secret doors or Gantenbrink's Door. The back of the pins curve back on themselves. Why? What was the purpose of these pins? The loops seem too small to serve a mechanical purpose. The new information dismisses the hypothesis that the copper pins were handles, and might point to an ornamental purpose. Also, the back of the door is polished so it must have been important. It doesn't look like it was a rough piece of stone used to stop debris getting into the shaft. The Djedi robot is expected to reveal much more in the next months. Two shafts, extend from the upper, or "King's Chamber" and exit into open air. But the lower two, one on the south side and one on the north side in the so-called "Queen's Chamber" disappear within the structures, deepening the pyramid mystery.

Pyramid Hieroglyphs Likely Engineering Numbers   Discovery - June 7, 2011

Mysterious hieroglyphs written in red paint on the floor of a hidden chamber in Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza are just numbers, according to a mathematical analysis of the 4,500-year-old mausoleum. Shown to the world last month, when the first report of a robot exploration of the Great Pyramid was published in the Annales du Service Des Antiquities de l'Egypte (ASAE), the images revealed features that have not been seen by human eyes since the construction of the monument. Researchers were particularly intrigued by three red ochre figures painted on the floor of a hidden chamber at the end of a tunnel deep inside the pyramid. Luca Miatello, an independent researcher who specializes on ancient Egyptian mathematics, believes he has some answers. The markings are hieratic numerical signs. They read from right to left, meaning 100, 20, 1. The builders simply recorded the total length of the shaft: 121 cubits. The two main figures are similar to the hieratic number 21. The royal cubit, the ancient Egyptian unit of measurement used in the construction of the pyramid, was between 52.3 and 52.5 cm (20.6 to 20.64 inches) in length, and was subdivided into seven palms of four digits (four fingers) each, making it a 28-part measure.

Erich von Daniken