Environment Modelling with an Autonomous Mobile Robot for Cultural Heritage Preservation and Remote Access [chapter]

Grazia Cicirelli, Annalisa Milell
2008 Robotics Automation and Control  
Introduction As awareness of cultural heritage raised, much effort was devoted, in the last decade, to improve accessibility and preservation of cultural assets. At present, several methods are available that generally make use of laser scanners and cameras to construct 3D photorealistic models of different-sized items, ranging from small objects, like statues, up to large buildings and archaeological sites. These methods provide effective technological solutions for cultural heritage
more » ... on, while guaranteeing, at the same time, their accessibility to as much people as possible. Nevertheless, the generation of models may turn into a timeconsuming procedure if data acquisition and processing is done by hand, since, in order for models to be sufficiently accurate, an extremely painstaking work is required. Contributions to implement automated model building techniques and remote access systems for cultural heritage applications may derive from experience in the mobile robotics field. Recently, several research projects have attempted to develop mobile robotic agents in museums (Burgard et al., 1999; Thrun et al., 2000; Trahanias et al., 2005), with different tasks, such as to supply remote access to distant users, accommodate and guide people in the museum, survey those areas where access is not permitted. Equipped with sensors, like cameras and laser rangefinders, mobile platforms provide a variety of viewpoints and may supply the user with dedicated tours of the exhibition and personalized tele-presence, which result in greater interaction capabilities than fixed or even remotely controllable cameras (Trahanias et al., 2005). Generally, in order for a mobile robot to perform its tasks, the knowledge of a map of the environment is needed. Hence, a number of methods for efficient environment modeling, based on information from onboard robot sensors, have been also developed. Yet, relatively little work has been done to extend these techniques to cultural heritage applications, such as modeling of historical and archaeological sites. In this chapter, we describe our research concerning the development of methods for environment exploration and modelling by a multisensor mobile platform, in the context of cultural heritage access and preservation. Our goal is to have a system able to navigate in the environment and acquire sensorial data, in order to either construct global or local models of the site, or send information to a remote console.
doi:10.5772/5832 fatcat:rlqr6qau3vatvjohz4wwbcfupq