Robot dogs, internet-controlled drones and a 5G upgrade are among technology being trialled to enhance the visitor experience at Sherwood Forest.

Nottinghamshire County Council said the work would make it the world’s first 5G-connected forest.

The authority hopes the stronger signal can be used to offer visitors an augmented reality headset to view an immersive Robin Hood-themed film.

The drones and robot could be used to help with environmental research.

The £10m trial – which also covers the area around the forest, including Rufford Abbey – has been part-funded by the government’s Rural Connected programme.

It is hoped the 5G technology will help businesses in the area.

Augmented reality experience

Birmingham City University has provided the site with the robot dog, which will collect data and upload it via the 5G connection.

If successful, the dog will gather data from areas that are usually inaccessible to help monitor and assess the health and condition of the forest environment.

Associate professor Taufiq Asyhari said: “With the robot dog, we can equip it with a camera and it can capture data.”

The forest will also feature what is claimed to be the world’s first interactive holographic film called An Arrow In Time.

The film, which uses augmented reality headsets, features well-known characters from the legend of Robin Hood.

Robot dog

Nottinghamshire county councillor Keith Girling said the 25-month project had the potential to attract “millions” of pounds of tourism trade.

“It’s going to draw attention to Nottinghamshire, which has got to be a good thing for investment,” he said.

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