In late 2020, Hyundai bought Boston Dynamics from Softbank. Since then we haven’t seen much preview of the Boston Dynamics robot dog, although it has finally appeared in a new video. In it, Hyundai shows us how Spot can be the perfect safety inspector in a factory.
As Hyundai explains, they have begun to testing Spot’s potential at a Kia manufacturing plant in South Korea. Spot will become one of the services used by the brand to guarantee the safety of the facilities for workers. His tasks include monitoring temperatures, checking for insects or detecting people. If something unforeseen is found or it is decided to inspect an area more thoroughly, the staff can take the remote control of the robot.
One thing we see in this video is that the look of Spot has changed slightly. Hyundai has equipped it with a special “backpack” that carries a number of extra tools. and capabilities to the robot. The new accessories include a LiDAR, a thermal camera and an “artificial intelligence processing service unit”, which gives the robot more intelligence and autonomy.
Hyundai’s idea is assess Spot’s abilities to monitor and be a patrol robot. If the robot delivers on its promise, it will be deployed at more additional industrial sites.
Boston Dynamics put the Spot on sale in July 2020, yes, at a price not suitable for everyone. The basic model started at about $ 75,000, to which a few thousand more can be added with extra accessories such as the robotic arm for the robot dog.
The different professions of Spot
Where we have seen it most (or at least where it has attracted the most attention) is in activities with the authorities. The French army has put it to the test, the American police or the Singaporean police.
The patrol activities are his other great strength. What he’s done with Hyundai in a sense we’ve already seen Spot do. Boston Dynamics partnered with Foster + Partners to get Spot to monitor buildings under construction. Another similar task he has done is at Chernobyl, measuring radiation in the exclusion zone. Although perhaps the best of the activities he has done so far is dancing. Boston Dynamics showed us a video where all their robots began to dance.
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