Faculty of Electrical Engineering

Czech Technical University in Prague

CTU in Prague

Drones from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering continue to map historical monuments

In recent months, the Multi-robotic systems group of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, led by Dr. Martin Saska, has focused on sensing the interiors of historical objects with drones. The most interesting objects that have been already documented are the Grotta in the Polish Gorzanow, or the church in Libavá, which was marked by the influence of Soviet army. Last year, the experts succeeded in using the drones formation to document the Church of St. Mikuláš on the Old Town square in Prague. This activity was followed by the mapping of other monuments.

In high-pitched places such as dome churches, the team of Dr. Saska uses a unique technique based on the mutual stabilization of autonomous helicopter formations, where one of the helicopters carries a camera and the other helicopters carry a light source illuminating the scene at a predetermined angle. Namely, this task is being explored by the Multi-Robot Systems Group. Thanks to helicopters that were able to get to the difficult places of the historic building, photos and sensory data were obtained to help conservationists at the University of Pardubice Faculty of Restoration to create a detailed plan of restoration work in the building.

The most interesting discovery brought a bird view from helicopters flying in proximity to the walls of the object dome. The acquired data helped fully reveal the mosaic in a heavily damaged floor, which was only speculated. So far, only some of the details of the mosaic could be studied, but only a complex shot from above showed that the mosaics originally covered the entire floor area. Preserved artefacts of similarly significant mosaic floors of grotta are probably unique in Central and Eastern Europe. But only the subsequent study of the acquired data in the historical context of the depicted motives will reveal the true significance of this discovery.

Uniqueness in the deployed technology of unmanned helicopters consists in the possibility to fly even in very narrow high areas of the building. Also, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering acquired sensory data that will allow them to fly completely autonomously and more accurately inside the building. This approach, unique worldwide, is planned to be tested in the spring of next year when they have to return with the team of historians into the grotta in Poland.

The audiovisual documentation taken during the previous use of the helicopter group to map the interiors of historical objects can be found here.



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