Boston Dynamics is putting one of its advanced robots to "work" for the first time.
In a recent YouTube video released by the company, the latest version of its Spot quadruped robot starts its new job demonstrating its ability to carry out an on-the-spot inspection of a building site in Japan.
The way all the Boston Dynamic robots have evolved has been both intriguing, yet slightly terrifying. Last week, the company launched footage of their Atlas robot showing off its gymnastic abilities and now Spot is hitting the construction sites.
The video shows two versions of Spot working at the Takenaka Corporation and Fujita Corporation sites in Japan. At the former, the robot was equipped with the extra arm/neck features on previous Boston Dynamics robot. This one seemed to be equipped with a camera or some other sensors protected by a clamshell hand/mouth for closer inspections of features.
The latter had no arms, but it carried a glowing plastic box on its back. On the tail of each is what seems like a complex cone in a protective cage that seems to be some sort of navigation apparatus. The video also shows the robot strutting around the sites like a determined dog, stopping occasionally to inspect installations in front of it.
Spot is equipped with sensors on the front and rear side, which enables the robot to negotiate stairwells and narrow corridors by simply reversing when there wasn't room to turn around. Boston Dynamics, as usual, is light on details but construction sites seem a logical place for such testing and demonstrating. It gives ample opportunity to show off the abilities the robot has to adapt to challenging environments and new situations.
The company does, however, say that Spot robot will be available in the second half of next year for a variety of applications.