A Shape-Adjusted Tridimensional Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage Artifacts Using a Miniature Quadrotor

  • Louiset Theo
  • Pamart Anthony
  • Gattet Eloi
  • Raharijaona Thibaut
  • de Luca Livio
  • Ruffier Franck

  • Automated 3D reconstruction
  • Miniature unmanned aerial vehicle
  • Cultural heritage
  • Low-resolution Raspberry Pi camera


The innovative automated 3D modeling procedure presented here was used to reconstruct a Cultural Heritage (CH) object by means of an unmanned aerial vehicle. Using a motion capture system, a small low-cost quadrotor equipped with a miniature low-resolution Raspberry Pi camera module was accurately controlled in the closed loop mode and made to follow a trajectory around the artifact. A two-stage process ensured the accuracy of the 3D reconstruction process. The images taken during the first circular trajectory were used to draw the artifact's shape. The second trajectory was smartly and autonomously adjusted to match the artifact's shape, then it provides new pictures taken close to the artifact and, thus, greatly improves the final 3D reconstruction in terms of the completeness, accuracy and quickness, in particular where the artifact's shape is complex. The results obtained here using close-range photogrammetric methods show that the process of automated 3D model reconstruction based on a robotized quadrotor using a motion capture system is a realistic approach, which could provide a suitable new digital conservation tool in the cultural heritage field.