Boston Dynamics' Robot Dog Spot Will Soon Start Working on Oil Rigs

Spot, the robot dog, will be working on Aker BP's Skarv installation.
Fabienne Lang
Spot the 'dog'Boston Dynamics

Oil rigs of the future may have packs of robot dogs running around completing important tasks. 

Boston Dynamics' infamous robot dog, Spot is going to be a part of the work team on an oil rig. Given how dangerous oil rigs can be, automation may be the most logical, and safest, option moving forward. 


Spot's new home on an oil rig

Oil producer Aker BP and AI software company Cognite have paired up to announce their exciting plans to test a number of different robots and drones on Aker BP's Skarv installation. 

The Skarv has been based in the Norwegian Sea since 2013 and will be a good testing ground for this potential new method of operations. 

One such robot is Boston Dynamics' Spot the dog. 

As per Aker BP's press release, Spot has already been put to the test in simulated oil and gas environments where it has proven to work a treat, and not simply for one.

Now, the plan is for Spot to go aboard the Skarv to see how it functions in that environment. Tests on its ability to run inspections, produce reports, and look out for hydrocarbon leaks will be observed, as per Bloomberg.

"Our vision is to digitalize all our operations from cradle to grave in order to increase productivity, enhance quality, and improve the safety of our employees," said Aker BP’s CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik in the press release. "Exploring the potential of robotics offshore underpin our digital journey."

This isn't the first time Spot has been used in the real world. The Massachusetts State Police checked Spot's abilities last year to see if it could function well alongside its police force. The biggest issue regarding this test was potential robot violence against humans. 

That most likely won't be the case on oil rigs, but the biggest issue there could lean towards fewer job openings for humans.

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