Industrial Electronics

Video: Boston Robotics' Spot can now jump rope

04 February 2021

A robot dog with a robot arm may sound like something from a science fiction series, but Boston Dynamics has made it possible by adding a new arm to its Spot four-legged robot.

The robotic arm allows Spot to perform autonomous, remote inspections and data collection as well as perform manual tasks. The arm is equipped to operate through both semi-autonomous actions and telemanipulation where it can manually or semi-autonomously grasp, lift, carry, place and drag objects. The arm can also open and close valves, pull levers and turn handles and knobs in coordination with its body to open, push and pull doors.

Additionally, Boston Dynamics has expanded its robotic line with a self-charging Enterprise Spot and a web-based remote operations software called Scout.

About 400 Spots have been deployed worldwide to be used in hazardous conditions or inhospitable environments such as nuclear plants, offshore oil rigs, construction sites and mines. The robot has been used to improve operational efficiency, enhance worker safety and gather data. The new iterations of robot are designed to fully operationalize continuous, autonomous data collection on remote or hazardous worksites of any size, from anywhere they can access their network.

Spot Enterprise is a new version of the robotic dog that is equipped with self-charging capabilities and a dock allowing the robot to perform longer inspection tasks and data collection missions with little to no human interaction. The robot includes upgraded hardware for improved safety, communications and behavior in remote environments to expand the range of autonomous missions Spot can cover.

Scout, the web-based software, allows operators to control a fleet of Spots from a virtual control room or remotely. The software includes a user interface to run pre-programmed autonomous missions or manually control the robot to perform various tasks including walking or posing the robot to capture images and thermal data of obscured gauges or pipes via a thermal imaging payload.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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