we saw them dance (opens in new tab)do, sometimes fail in parkour (opens in new tab), and generally worry about our future, but now Boston Dynamics robots are doing something new. To be honest, it didn’t frighten me.
official Pompeii website explained (opens in new tab) Boston Dynamics’ scary dog robot is currently helping protect the ancient city. The dogs, commonly known as Spots, will help monitor the city for signs of erosion, damage and even potential thieves. They will do this with the help of drones to provide information, and of course human archaeologists and security teams.
As much as I fear robots in positions of power, the juxtaposition of futuristic dog robots patrolling the infamous volcano-ravaged city of Pompeii is a real aesthetic. Like the atmosphere in Fallout and Assassin’s Creed mixed in a slightly menacing and overly real way.
Pompeii is a well-preserved ancient city, especially in AD 79, it can sweep away the face of Mount Vesuvius. The sudden eruption is thought to have buried the city before it could cause widespread damage. People have been working hard to preserve this amazing piece of history since then, and if dogs can help me well, I guess that’s okay.
Having Spot roam Pompeii means we have a sophisticated robot that can traverse many surfaces capable of monitoring ruins. It has cameras and scanners, and can be outfitted with other tools to help with the job. This is part of the Pompeii Archaeological Park Smart Archaeological Park initiative, which aims to integrate technology to protect the site.
These skills even extend to being able to track grave robbers based on the traces they leave during their activities. Most of these robberies in Pompeii took place in small caves where people dived. They are dangerous, dark, and not easy to manipulate, especially for humans. For the robot dog, these tunnels should be a walk in the Parthenon. While these Spots cost around $75,000, they could be a new target for those looking to make a quick buck from the ruins of Pompeii.