The MuseBot Project: Robotics, Informatic, and Economics Strategies for Museums

The MuseBot Project: Robotics, Informatic, and Economics Strategies for Museums

Arturo Gallozzi, Giuseppe Carbone, Marco Ceccarelli, Claudio De Stefano, Alessandra Scotto di Freca, Marina Bianchi, Michela Cigola
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0680-5.ch003
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This chapter intends to present the MuseBot system as the result of multidisciplinary research, underway at the University of Cassino and Southern Latium, which focuses on the use of robots for visiting a museum during closing time. During the visit the visitor, connected to the robot through a home computer, smartphone or tablet can control and “drive” the device through the halls of the museum. During the virtual tour the visitor, focusing and viewing the various works on display can get a simple view or an extended examination of the work that he/she is looking at, through a specially prepared multimedia database.
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The Musebot Project

The MuseBot project builds on the British “After Dark” experience, with the intention to move forward, expanding and enriching the experience of a museum visit.

Some museums already have guides which, in the form of smartphones and using a Wi-Fi connection, automatically connect to a database that provide the visitor with considerable background information on what is being observed.

Our project proposes a combination of the two experiences described above by means of a research itinerary focused on the use of robots to visit a museum when it is closed. This will allow a visitor connected to the robot through a home computer, tablet or smartphone, to control and “guide” the device through the museum rooms, framing and looking at the various works and obtaining a diversified view to which multiple media can be associated. (Cigola, Gallozzi, Ceccarelli, Carbone, De Stefano & Scotto di Freca 2014).

The visit can be carried out in various ways depending on whether pre-established itineraries through the museum layout are chosen or if individual choice is preferred (Figure 1):

Figure 1.

Schema of a MUSEUM tour


Key Terms in this Chapter

Restoration: Any attempt to conserve and repair tangible cultural heritage that have been adversely affected by negligence, willful damage, or the decay caused by the effects of time and human use on the materials of which they are made.

Cultural Heritage: Cultural heritage sites include hundreds of historic buildings and town sites, important archaeological sites, and works of monumental sculpture or painting. We can consider tangible Cultural heritage: architecture, paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and objects of the decorative arts.

Robotics: The scientific and engineering fieldd of the design, construction and application of robots. Robotics is the area for development of robots and robotic systems for substituting and assisting humans in their activities in industrial and non industrial tasks with operations under automatic control.

Information System: A system that integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, storing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. Information System allows to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.

Museography: Discipline which, together with museology, deals with museums. Museography is taken to mean the discipline that deals with the museum in terms of architectural structure, layout of the collections, display and technical solutions, and spaces.

Serendipity: The good fortune of making discoveries by accident; it derives from Serendip, the ancient Persian name of Sri Lanka, coined by H. Walpole in 1734, who was inspired by Persian fairy tale describing the findings of the three princes as intuition due to chance, but also to their intelligence.

Time Allocation: A term used in economics to analyze the efficient allocation of time, as a scarce resource, among alternative uses.

Museology: The study of the museum in its essential functions: conservation, scientific and education. Museology deals with the history of museum, conservation aspects and aspects related to heritage.

Creative Goods: All the goods that are consumed for their own sake for the intrinsic pleasure they yield.

Conservation: Any activity carried out with the purpose of maintaining the integrity, identity and functional efficiency of a cultural asset, in a consistent, planned and coordinated manner.

Artificial Vision: The Computer vision is a field that includes methods for acquiring, processing, analyzing, and understanding images and, in general, high-dimensional data from the real world in order to produce numerical or symbolic information. Understanding in this context means the transformation of visual images into descriptions of world that can interface with other thought processes and elicit appropriate action.

3D Modelling: Computing term that indicates a process aimed atdrawing any three-dimensional shape in a virtual space generated on the computer; these objects, called 3D models are made using special software programs called 3D modellers, or, more in general, 3D software.

Augmented Reality: Augmented reality is a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented or supplemented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. With the help of advanced AR technology, e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition, the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable.

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