In late 2020 Hyundai bought Boston Dynamics from Softbank. Since then we haven’t seen much progress on 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.
Boston Dynamics Spot gets a new job
As Hyundai explains, they have begun testing Spot’s potential at a Kia manufacturing plant in South Korea. The position will become one of the facilities’ services utilized to ensure worker safety. Its responsibilities include monitoring temperatures, inspecting for insects, and detecting people. Personnel can take remote control of the robot if any unforeseen events occur or if it is deemed necessary to inspect an area in greater detail.
One thing we notice in this video is that Spot’s appearance has evolved somewhat. Hyundai has added a supplementary “backpack” to the robot, giving it access to a variety of extra tools and abilities. An LiDAR, a thermal camera, and an “artificial intelligence processing service unit” are among the new additions. It gives the robot greater intellect and autonomy.
Hyundai’s idea is to evaluate Spot’s capabilities as a surveillance and patrol robot. If the robot delivers as promised, it will be deployed at additional industrial sites.
Boston Dynamics put Spot on sale in July 2020, albeit at a price not for everyone. The basic model started at around $75,000, to which a few thousand more can be added with extra accessories such as the robotic arm for the robot dog.
Spot’s different professions
We’ve seen it most (or at least where it has garnered the most attention) in interactions with authorities’ activities. The French army has employed it, as have American cops and the Singapore police.
Another area where he shines is in patrols. What it has done for Hyundai, we’ve seen Spot do before. Boston Dynamics worked with Foster + Partners to have Spot observe construction sites. It has also been used at Chernobyl, where it measured radiation in the zone that was shut off. Perhaps the best of the activities it has done so far, though, is dancing. Boston Dynamics showed us a video where all its robots were dancing.