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In 79 CE ash from a volcanic eruption covered Pompeii, making it a city of ruins. Now, a robot dog named Spot coming to Pompeii’s archeological site to gather information about the ancient Roman city as part of the Smart @ PPMPEI project of Pompeii’s Archeological Park.

Spot, who has been at Pompeii for the first time, adapts quickly – the robot dog is specially designed to move in different types of terrain with agility and autonomy, and it is capable of reaching into tight spaces and collecting data that will help researchers in Pompeii’s physical and historical preservation, according to pompeiisites.org. Researchers can enhance their knowledge of different areas on the site using this innovative technology without compromising their personal safety while improving monitoring on existing areas.

A state of emergency was declared in Pompeii in 2008 following criticisms of the site’s maintenance. Several ancient structures in the area collapsed shortly thereafter. Several resources have been invested in revamping this site over the past several years for research, conservation, and maintenance purposes to turn it into a “smart archaeological site”. Pompeii’s archeological site combines collaboration with the American robotics giant with an advanced system of Leica Geosystems (part of the hexagon) for 3D space scanning.

Leica’s autonomous hovering laser scanner, the BLK2FLY, enabled researchers to perform many autonomous tasks and collect information in a safe environment from the air. With the help of the Robot Spot Dog and smart data analytics platforms, a wide range of vital data is being collected that will add new knowledge to the understanding of Pompeii. Although robots, artificial intelligence, and autonomous capabilities are often associated with the world of manufacturing, recent events in Pompeii have demonstrated that these new technologies can also be effective in archeological research and preservation.

Discover more interesting innovations at AUS&R 2022 – the Unmanned Systems and Robotics Conference – the tenth annual event, by iHLS.