China to use AI and drones in the conservation of the Great Wall
According to Xinhua, China plans to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) and unmanned aerial vehicles to inspect, repair and preserve the Great Wall.
The recent report by Xinhua stated that the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation has signed the Strategic Cooperation Agreement with Intel to explore the use of AI and drones in the protection of the Great Wall.
The Great Wall, built between the third century BC and the Ming Dynasty (1384-1644), faces threats from both natural degradation and human activities that impose challenges on conservation. On top of that, most sections of the Great Wall, such as the Jiankou section Great Wall, were built on steep hills. This makes access for restoration very difficult.
Under this new collaboration, researchers will use Intel’s FalconTM 8+ drones to inspect the Great Wall and collect high-resolution images, especially for sections of the Great Wall that are difficult to reach.
The high-resolution images will then be used by 3D modelling. Based on the images captured by the drone, the images will be then processed and analysed by the Xeon Extensible Processor to identify cracks and other damages on the Wall that needs to be repaired.
“The use of the latest technologies, will provide a new perspective of the protection of the Great Wall, and show us the great potential of science and technology in cultural heritage protection,” said Li Xiaojie, Director of the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
Mr Li also highlighted that the conservation of cultural heritage requires extensive participation of businesses, the public and social organisations.
This project to use AI and drones to inspect and repair the Great Wall will last for one year. Upon its completion, the two sides will explore possibilities to apply the technology to restore other sections of the Great Wall.