Archeo-Robot Scans Ancient Roman Sewers
The results of this archeo-robot sent to explore an alien environment should look familiar to sf fans.
Ancient Rome's "cloaca maxima," Latin for greatest or largest sewer, was a marvel at the time of its use, permitting great quantities of waste water to flow away from the city center. It still functions today, draining rainwater from the historic Forum area of Rome.
A team was recently brought in to study and map the main sewer and its several secondary tunnels. To do it properly, they decided to use a little remote bot equipped with high-definition cameras, atmospheric sensors and a laser-scanning system that would capture the pipes and stones in 3-D. This will allow them to get very exact dimensions as well as an explorable model.
SF film fans are still buzzing over the cool scanning globes from Ridley Scott's new film Prometheus; the globes autonomously explored the cavernous structures found by explorers in the film, and produced maps that look a lot like the one above.
Don't forget to check out the KickStarter project to try to make inexpensive lidar for UAV's in a previous article - see $99 Lidar Plus UAV Equals Prometheus Mapping Device.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/22/2012)
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