Exhibits archived by visitors

A new exposition concept lets visitors to the State Museum of Baden hold the exhibits in their own hands and digitize them with the help of Fraunhofer IGD. The trip becomes not just memorable, it also actively contributes to the museum’s digital archive.

(Karlsruhe/Darmstadt) “Archeology in Baden – Expotheque1” is the name of the revolutionary exposition that has been residing at the State Museum of Baden since July 13. Revolutionary because visitors become users: For the first time ever, the historical artifacts have left their glass display cases and are being stored in drawers that beg visitors to rummage through and discover their contents. Those who sign up ahead of time are even allowed to hold valuable cultural treasures from 650,000 BCE to the 8th century CE in their own hands — gloves and trained explainers make sure the objects remain undamaged, of course. But it does not stop at this once-in-a-lifetime inspection of the items‘ authenticity: The later stations create a wholly new visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology.

Visitors can professionally digitize the exhibits

For the next step, the cultural heirlooms on hand are digitized in 3D by the users. The CultArm3D-P robotic arm developed by Fraunhofer IGD scans the objects in three dimensions and then transfers the virtual clone, including color and texture, into the database of the State Museum of Baden. This digital catalog will keep the scanned museum inventory accessible to all users going into the future. The process is an exciting thing to watch: The fully autonomous arm circles around the object, which is on a rotating glass table for optimal positioning and also so the bottom can be scanned. The CultArm3D-P does not require any practice runs and scans each object precisely — no need to clean up the digital data afterward, the virtual model is available right away for inclusion in the catalog. This intuitive and easy-to-use 3D digitizing station was made possible with funding from the Klaus Tschira Foundation.

3D results – Project Webpage