Boston Dynamics has expanded the capabilities of its doglike Spot robot, introducing new remote software, a new robotic arm attachment & a completely new version which can recharge itself. These skills are hoped to further expand the appeal of those agile four-legged robots, which are taking-on jobs in all sorts of areas around the world.
The newly unveiled version of Spot with self-charging capabilities named as Enterprise Spot and comes with a purpose-built dock. The robot can detect the dock and crouch-down on top of it to assume the charging position, when its batteries are in need of a top up, either by programming or a return home button on the accompanying tablet interface.
This dock also allows Spot Enterprise to upload data collected through-out its mission via an Ethernet connection. Additionally, Boston Dynamics has upgraded the hardware for this version of Spot, which it says offers greater safety, communications capability & allows it to work autonomously across a greater range.
Boston Dynamics has also introduced new web-based software named Scout, which enables operators to control the robot virtually. This might mean initiating pre-programmed autonomous missions or manually controlling the robot because it goes about its business.
Back in 2018, we saw Boston Dynamics demonstrate a manipulator arm attachment for Spot that worked with onboard sensors to-open a doorway for a fellow robot. The newly launched, 4K camera equipped Spot Arm is a customer-ready version of this technology, allowing owners to-have their robot grasp, lift & carry a variety of objects, pull levers, open valves & turn handles & knobs to open doors.
Since Boston Dynamics opened sales for Spot in September 2019, we have seen the robot given all kinds of jobs, including herding sheep in New Zealand, scanning Ford factories for retooling, inspecting construction-sites in London and helping protect frontline healthcare workers from COVID-19. Boston Dynamics says, more than 400 Spots are now-out in the world plying their trade and hopes these new features will only broaden their appeal.
“Since first launching Spot, we’ve worked closely with our customers to-identify how the robot could best support their mission critical applications,” says Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics. “Our customers want reliable data collection in remote, hazardous & dynamic worksites. We developed the new Spot products with these needs in mind and with the goal of making-it easy to regularly and remotely perform critical inspections, improving safety & operations.”
You can check-out the promo video for Spot Enterprise below :