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Meet Pompei’s Watchdog Robot

Robots and heritage aren’t the usual combination, but changes are taking place in the Roman ruins of Pompeii. The dog (known as Spot) is developed by US robotics company Boston Dynamics and will be given a series of tasks at an archaeological dig.

The main purpose of the dog is to observe and survey the condition of the ruins. Weighing around 30 kg and with four independent legs, it is light and agile enough to patrol ancient buildings. The 360° cameras on the robot allow it to monitor the site very methodically.  Thus, it can collect routine data on the state of buildings in the park.

In addition, the robot dog is useful for inspecting tunnels created by tomb robbers.  Despite the fact that, thanks to the efforts of the Italian authorities, the theft of cultural heritage has significantly decreased in recent years, tunnels are still being discovered in the vicinity of Pompeii.

Often the security conditions in the tunnels dug by the grave robbers are extremely unreliable, so the use of a robot can mean a breakthrough that will allow us to operate with greater speed and in complete safety,” says Gabriel Zuchtrigel, general director of the Pompeii Archaeological Park.

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