Robot dog searches illegal tunnels in ancient Pompeii

The eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 marked the fall of the Roman city of Pompeii. The buildings were covered by a thick layer of ash and pumice for more than 1500 years. The excavations then started gradually. Today it is an impressive testimony to ancient architecture. Visitors from all over the world come to Naples every year to see the historic city. However, too little money was invested in the preservation of Pompeii for a long time. UNESCO therefore sounded the alarm in 2013 and threatened to withdraw the World Heritage title. This acted like a wake-up call. Since then, more emphasis has been placed on preserving the historic building structure. In the future, the most modern technology will also be used here. The robot dog Spot is used to guard the large area.

Art robbers keep coming back to Pompeii

Because the ancient city has an area of ​​more than 98 hectares. It is therefore difficult for human employees to always keep an eye on all areas. The same applies here, of course: the sooner damage and problems are discovered, the easier it is to fix them. That is why in the future the robot dog developed by the Boston Dynamics company will regularly roam the old site and thus provide visual material. In the best case, this can then be evaluated automatically. Ultimately, countermeasures can then be taken at an early stage. In this way, the success of remedial measures can also be better monitored. At the same time, the robot dogs can also get into hard-to-reach places. They should mainly look for illegal tunnels there. Because Pompeii is not only very popular with tourists, but also with art thieves.

The robot must recognize illegal tunnels in time

Since 2012, the Italian police have stepped up their efforts to fight this form of crime. But illegal tunnels are still being found in Pompeii and the surrounding area, intended for the transport of the stolen art. However, these are often difficult for human employees to find. Therefore, in the future, the robot dog will monitor the large area and discover newly dug tunnels at an early stage. At best, Spot helps ensure that future generations can still enjoy the splendor of Pompeii. In fact, there are plenty of other application scenarios for the robot dog as well. It was used after a major fire in Essen to reliably record the damage in the building. The New York police, on the other hand, had rather bad experiences with a mock copy – and had to end cooperation with the manufacturer.

Via: The Guardian