Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Spot goes to Pompeii: Why a robot dog is patrolling ancient ruins

Spot can autonomously roam the site checking for safety issues that may emerge Archaeological Park of Pompeii

Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot has been tasked with a new job - patrolling the ancient ruins of Pompeii. The robot will be used to inspect the site for safety issues and record structural changes over time to better manage the historic ruins.

Ever since Boston Dynamics began developing its dog-like robot over a decade ago it has been one of those innovative solutions in search of a problem. In recent years, as the company commercialized Spot, it has been given a number of jobs, from working on an oil rig to herding sheep in New Zealand.

Spot’s latest job takes it to Italy and the ancient site of Pompeii, a Roman city famous for being struck by catastrophic volcanic eruption around 2,000 years ago. Part of Spot’s work will be to autonomously roam the site with a 3D scanner tracking any small changes to structures that could signal a need for intervention.

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