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In Pictures: The story of the Picasso and a 1.5 ton robot

Spanish telecom firm, Telefonica, built a robot to digitally image and look for problems with Pablo Picasso's famous 'Guernica' painting

  • Here visitors look at Spanish artist Picasso's "Guernica" in Madrid. The painting, which will be 75 years old this year, was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes during the Spanish Civil War. Credit: Reuters

  • The robot will provide millions of images of the artwork, in very high resolution with accuracy to 25 microns thanks to sensors and equipment that will digitalize the picture. To make photographs, the robot will use visible light, multispectral infrared, ultraviolet light, spectral reflectography and 3D scanning according to Telefonica. Credit: Reuters

  • A look at the camera mounted on Pablito. Credit: Reuters

  • According to Telefonica, once Pablito has finished with the Guernica, it will go to the Museum’s Department of Preservation-Restoration to perform in-depth studies of other works in the museum. The museum is dedicated mostly to Spanish artist and features the work of among others, Picasso and Salvador Dalí.

  • According to a Wikipedia entry, a Cartesian coordinate robot (also called linear robot) is an industrial robot whose three principal axes of control are linear (i.e. they move in a straight line rather than rotate) and are at right angles to each other.

  • Researchers talk beside a camera mounted on the mobile robot-like structure as it moves across Pablo Picasso's 'Guernica.’ Credit: Reuters

  • When Madrid’s Reina Sofía Museum wanted to look deep inside its iconic but extremely delicate Pablo Picasso 'Guernica' painting, Telefonica built the tool: a 1.5 ton robot known as “Pablito” that could gently photograph every nook and cranny of the artwork. Telefonica say it created the large-scale Cartesian robot with a sophisticated photographic system to be used for digitizing images of a work of art. The idea is to let restorers peer deep inside a painting to see any deterioration and act more quickly to preserve a work of art. Here we take a look at Pabilto’s ongoing work on Picasso’s 'Guernica.'

  • A camera mounted on the mobile robot-like structure moves across Pablo Picasso's 'Guernica' painting at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid Feb. 28, 2012. Experts have long been concerned about the health of Picasso's "Guernica," one of the world's most iconic paintings but one which is diagnosed as extremely delicate after a hectic life. The microscopic shots of the painting will let analysts to look inside the work like never before and see its real condition. Credit: Reuters

  • Technician Humberto Duran checks pictures taken by a camera mounted on a mobile robot-like structure as it moves across Picasso's 'Guernica.’ The machine was built so that "Guernica" does not have to make the risky move to a conservation laboratory, where such investigative work would have traditionally been done. Credit: Reuters

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