Boston Dynamics’ Spot now comes with thermal monitoring and more

The robot has been upgraded to be more efficient in industrial settings.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Spot on site.jpg
Spot on site.

Boston Dynamics  

Boston Dynamics’ Spot is a popular robot. To date 1000 models have been deployed in over 35 countries.

Now, the firm has upgraded the machine to make it even more user-friendly and to allow it to tackle even more tasks, according to a blog published on its site this week.

“To help Spot do even more, today we’re adding a brand new set of features and hardware. Now, critical industrial tasks like thermal monitoring, acoustic leak detection, and gauge reading are made easier through our automated inspection solutions,” reads the blog. 

“New features in our Scout software allow you to quickly plan and edit missions remotely and get better visibility into your site. Added visual and audio features help the robot signal its intentions, improving safety on busy or populous job-sites. And a new manipulation capability will open the door to more autonomous missions.”

The aim of these improvements is to have any Spot work on site in just a few hours and start to generate value in that first week of deployment.

New behaviors

As such, the team has redesigned some of Spot’s hardware and added new robot behaviors to reshape how Spot interacts with teams on the ground.

“It’s really important that Spot behaves in a way that people expect and understand. To do that, we've enhanced the robot to include an audio and visual signaling system. We've also added an emergency stop button on the robot for increased safety,” reads the blog.

The new elements are engineered to provide enhanced safety and awareness for people working near the robot in industrial settings. The goal is to ensure people near the robot know what to expect. 

Therefore, the system comes pre-configured with light patterns and tones that will alert workers that Spot is performing actions in the area. 

Finally, new hardware updates guarantee Spot is sturdier on its feet.

“In its most stable gait, crawl, Spot will move one leg at a time and stay close to the ground to keep upright on slippery surfaces. Even in normal walk mode, Spot is now better able to catch itself when it slips,” reads the blog.

Ultimately Boston Dynamics is focused on building robots that improve the lives of workers everywhere.

“It’s one thing to build a cool robot, but it’s another thing entirely to make a robot that’s actually useful in the real world,” concludes the blog.

“Our hope is these enhancements will improve our human-robot interactions on sites around the world, supporting our longer-term journey toward general purpose robots.”

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