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Robot dog patrolling the ruins of ancient Italian city Pompeii

UPI – Officials in Italy said they have enlisted the service of a robot dog to patrol the ancient ruins of the city of Pompeii, with the mechanical quadruped’s duties including identifying safety issues and finding tunnels created by thieves.

The Pompeii Archaeological Park announced Spot, a dog-like robot developed by United States (US) firm Boston Dynamics, is now wandering the ancient ruins of the city, which was destroyed by a volcanic eruption nearly 2,000 years ago.

The park said Spot’s duties include inspecting the ancient buildings for dangerous structural issues, assessing the progress of restoration work and identifying and inspecting tunnels created by relic thieves.

“Often the safety conditions within the tunnels dug by grave robbers are extremely precarious, and so the use of a robot could signify a breakthrough that would allow us to proceed with greater speed and in total safety,” Director of the archaeological park Gabriel Zuchtriegel said in a news release.

The robot is the latest in a series of efforts to improve conditions at the park, which was cited by the United Nations (UN) Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2013 as a possible addition to its list of world heritage sites in peril.

Spot, a dog-like robot developed by Boston Dynamics, patrols the ruins of Pompeii, Italy to inspect structures for safety and identify tunnels used by tomb raiders. PHOTO: UPI