Robots and Cultural Heritage: New Museum Experiences

  • Claudio Germak Politecnico di Torino
  • Maria Luce Lupetti Politecnico di Torino
  • Luca Giuliano Politecnico di Torino
  • Miguel E. Kaouk Ng Politecnico di Torino
Keywords: Service robotics, Robo-ethics, Service design, Human centred design


The introduction of new technologies to enhance the visiting museum experience is not a novelty. A large variety of interactive systems are nowadays available, including virtual tours, which makes cultural heritage accessible remotely. The theme of increase in accessibility and attractiveness has lately been faced with the employment of the service robotics, covering various types of applications. Regrettably, many of robotics solutions appear less successful in terms of utility and usability. On the basis of this awareness, a design for a new robotic solution for cultural heritage has been proposed. The project, developed at the royal residence of Racconigi Castle, consists of a telepresence robot designed as a tool to explore inaccessible areas of the heritage. The employed robot, called Virgil, was expressly designed for the project. The control of the robot is entrusted to the museum guides in order to enhance their work and enrich the cultural storytelling.

Author Biographies

Claudio Germak, Politecnico di Torino
CLAUDIO GERMAK Architect and designer, full professor of Industrial Design at Politecnico di Torino, Deputy Head of DAD Department of Architecture & Design. He is a researcher of design-oriented production systems, on which he published among 107 articles and monographs, curated exhibitions and researches. Expert in product design and process, he developed products, patents and received 4 design awards for industrial components and 2 Mentions ADI Compasso d’Oro. Today he leads the team HELP Politecnico di Torino, active in the fields of user experience and interaction design for transport systems and service robotics. Founder, and board member, of SID - Italian Scientific Society of Design.
Maria Luce Lupetti, Politecnico di Torino
MARIA LUCE LUPETTI She achieved a B.Sc. in Industrial Design at the ISIA Roma Design and a M.Sc. in Ecodesign at Politecnico di Torino. She worked as Research fellow on HRI and UX design, for 8 months at Jol CRAB, joint laboratory of Telecom Italia in collaboration with Politecnico di Torino. She is currently a first year PhD student at the Department of Management, Production and Design (DIGEP) of Politecnico di Torino, working on Design Research for Edutainment Robotics.
Luca Giuliano, Politecnico di Torino
LUCA GIULIANO He achieved a B.Sc. in Industrial Design at the Politecnico di Milano and a M.Sc. in Ecodesign at Politecnico di Torino. He worked as Research fellow on HRI and UX design, for 1 year at Jol CRAB, joint laboratory of Telecom Italia in collaboration with Politecnico di Torino. He is currently a second year PhD student at the Department of Management, Production and Design (DIGEP) of Politecnico di Torino, working on Robotics for Cultural heritage.
Miguel E. Kaouk Ng, Politecnico di Torino
MIGUEL E. KAOUK NG He received a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Universidad Central de Venezuela and M.Sc. in Mechatronics Engineering in 2006 from Politecnico di Torino as a double degree agreement. In 2010 he achieved his PhD in Mechatronic Engineering from Politecnico di Torino. Since August 2014 he is research assistant at DAUIN (Department of Control and Computer Engineering) at Politecnico di Torino. His main research areas involve Mobile Robot Navigation (localization, mapping, SLAM and path planning algorithms) and Automation Systems.


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