Robot brings China's past into the present

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A robot specially designed for underground exploration is opening up a lost world of historic treasures for Chinese archaeologists.

Scientists are planning its second excursion next week when it will go into an ancient tomb in Xi'an, China's ancient capital in the northwestern Shaanxi Province.

The robot completed a successful trial probe in July last year, when it revealed hidden fresco paintings in a narrow shaft inside a 1,300-year old tomb in Xi'an.

The cylinder-shaped robot, 27 centimeters long and 9 centimeters in diameter, is the first robot ever used by Chinese archaeologists to explore ancient tombs, said Tie Fude, a researcher at the National Museum.

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