Spot, the funny robot-dog that guards the ruins of Pompeii

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Spot, a quadruped robot made by Boston Robotics, during a media presentation at the Pompeii Archaeological Park, near Naples, southern Italy.


Under the interested eyes of many tourists, Spot wanders the alleys of the famous archaeological site of Pompeii.

This friendly animal that is narrow -minded is not even afraid of the heavy rains in Italy. The children, looking at it with curiosity, seemed to have worshiped it and preferred it over the remnants of ancient Rome.

His goal? “Monitoring and preserving the site, especially underground structures, where security conditions have not been met to bring (Staff, editor’s note)such as the many narrow and dangerous tunnels on the site “explains with pride the site’s director, German Gabriel Zuchtriegel.

The archaeological site contains the remains of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, south of Naples, which was buried during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. It is filled with tunnels or holes that are not easily accessible, making the help of the little Spot in black and yellow colors very valuable.

It scans plans in real time

The size of a Golden Retriever, it is controlled remotely using a tablet, as shown by Valerio Brunelli, an employee of Leica Geosystems, the company that oversees robot exploration missions within Pompeii.

Placed a few meters behind the Spot, its operator can direct it anywhere on the site, even if the Spot is able to avoid obstacles on its own. However, one must remain vigilant when it comes to walking: “Nobody wants to receive their 70 kilos on foot”comedy by Mr. Brunelli.

“The Spot is a concentration of technology that makes it capable of exploring more complex areas, such as those found here. Its interest will grow if it is equipped with other sensors, such as the Leica BLK2FLY, a scanner. (same as drone, editor’s note) which allows you to record your surroundings in 3D “he pointed out.

Site manager Gabriel Zuchtriegel and the Spot robot.


This scanner makes it possible to capture site plans in three dimensions and in real time. The spot, for example, was used to explore an ancient tunnel 2 km long and that dirty air and the risk of collapse made it very dangerous for human exploration.

That’s the tourist mascot!

“I’m very confident Pompeii will get it, it’s a leap into the future for a millennial site”wants to believe Mr. Brunelli.

For this season, even though he has become a mascot among tourists, Spot only got CDD. “In the technology sector, there are changes so fast that sometimes buying is not very profitable. We still have to make a decision”angered the director of Pompeii.

“The spot doesn’t replace people, that’s not the goal. This kind of instrument just wants to facilitate the work of the men and women who work here”he added.

Spot technology was developed by the American company Boston Dynamics, which specializes in robotics, especially in the military. The price of the Spot is about 70,000 euros, a guard dog therefore not affordable for everyone.

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