Spot The Robot Dog Learns New Tricks
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 11 June 2023

This video product announcement from Boston Dynamics showcases new features in Spot that improve its capabilities vis-a-vis the role of autonomous site inspector. Hardware updates make it more suitable for working safely alongside humans.  

The video opens with Spot moving around in a number of environments - all of which seem inhospitable and even dangerous to humans.

According to Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics:

Spot is at the forefront of the emerging mobile robotics market. With more than 1000 robots in over 35 countries, no other robot has been deployed more often to tackle some of industry’s toughest, most dangerous tasks. 

The purpose of the video is to introduce new features due to updated software and hardware. 

Spot’s latest software release now has multiple, simultaneous inspection types built into the platform making critical industrial tasks like thermal monitoring, acoustic leak detection, and gauge reading easier. Remote inspection capabilities have been added to Scout, the web-based software that facilitates the remote operation of a  fleet of Spots.  

scout3

Thanks to its CAM+IR’s thermal imaging capabilities, Spot with Scout can detect issue-indicating hot spots in tanks, machinery, or electrical conductors. The latest software releases introduces a fully end-to-end thermal inspection workflow which means that, in addition to triggering Scout notifications when equipment exceeds preset ranges, you can now set up inspection actions to capture multiple regions of interest in a single photo.

Gauge readings are more tightly integrated in the new software release and acoustic imaging has been fully integrated. With a Fluke SV600 payload for Spot, you can trigger acoustic inspection actions directly from the tablet and subsequently evaluate inspection results remotely through Scout. The SV600 can serve as an early warning system that enables you to swiftly pinpoint and address problem areas with ease. By setting alarms to detect, locate, and visualize otherwise unheard and unseen air and gas leaks, or any changes in sound signatures, you can proactively save substantial energy costs.

Boston Dynamics has also added new robot behaviors to reshape how Spot interacts with its human co-workers. Starting from the premise that it is important that Spot behaves in a way that people expect and understand, the robot has been enhanced to include an audio and visual signaling system whereby when Spot is operating as intended during normal mission activities, it will project a green colored blinking pattern, when it is conducting inspection, white lights will flash. An amber colored blinking pattern means that people should pay extra attention and exercise caution around Spot, for example, when it is going up or down stairs or moving through an intersection or crosswalk inside a facility.

 spot scout1

In addition, Spot has now been fitted with an emergency stop button for increased safety, when pressed, red lights will flash!

More Information

The Next Step in Safe, Autonomous Robotic Inspection

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 June 2023 )