April 05, 2022

Pompeii Has a New (Robotic) Watchdog

There’s a new top “dog” keeping an eye on the ruins of Pompeii in southern Italy, and his name is Spot.

The nimble, 25-kilogram, quadruped robot was developed by US-based company, Boston Dynamics, and was recently enlisted by the Archaeological Park of Pompeii to inspect and monitor the ancient structures for signs of erosion, damage and looting.

Spot is a marvel of modern technology as it can navigate where no human can, be it through tiny crawl spaces like tunnels or seemingly impassable terrain where rubble lies, making it perfectly suited for the job of gathering and recording information that will assist in future studies and restoration operations.

Spot’s cameras and sensors are also excellent for spotting intruders, so not only is the automaton an exhibit maintainer and archaeologist, but he’s a security guard, too.

Spot is also assisted by a flying drone – BLK2FLY – which is equipped with a laser scanner that autonomously provides a 360-degree 3D model of the 2 000-year-old Roman ruins and surrounding areas, further enhancing efforts to keep close tabs on the 66-hectare site just outside of Naples’ metropole.

Director General of the park, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, says the project is already a breakthrough as it allows “greater speed” and “total safety”, thus making Spot “a good dog”, indeed.

Image Credit: Source