Because many people adopt or raise dogs and cats while staying home during the Covid-19 pandemic, there is another type of “pet” that can help businesses: Spot, a robotic dog created by Boston Dynamics, an engineering company.
Spot is not a pet or a toy for entertainment, it is a four-legged robot that can walk at speeds of up to three miles per hour, climb the terrain, avoid obstacles, see 360 degrees and perform a number of programmed tasks. Spot is now available for purchase from Boston Dynamics for $ 74,500.
Spot made its debut in 2015, but was only released last week on Tuesday. With his canine looks and human movements, Spot has tested its share of Internet fame. Video of spot dances, opening doors and even pulls a truck became viral on the Boston Dynamics YouTube channel.
Michael Perry, vice president of business development at Boston Dynamics, says Spot has “unlimited” business applications. The robot can work remotely, or it can learn its own routes and activities so that it can perform autonomous missions, he tells CNBC Make It.
According to Perry, 150 spot robots worked in enterprises and research institutions as part of the early testing program to perform tasks such as “documenting construction progress, monitoring remote or hazardous environments, and providing awareness of the situation.” “Spot robots have been used in a variety of environments, including power generation facilities, decommissioned nuclear facilities, production sites, construction sites and research laboratories.”
Increased safety and performance are two of the main benefits of using Spot.
Spot can go to places that would be unsafe for humans. For example, early testers used Spot to monitor remote environments inside mines and offshore oil rigs and to capture footage through a camera “in places like decommissioned nuclear facilities where it’s too dangerous to send people,” Perry says. The robot can even perform on stage in theme parks, he adds.
Spot was even able to reach out during the pandemic. At Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Par, a theme park in Singapore, Spot patrolled the site last month and encouraged people to maintain social distance.
A robot can also work longer than a human. For example, PomerleauThe Quebec construction company used Spot to document progress in building a 500,000-square-foot building. Spot took thousands of photos of the site every week, saving the company 20 hours of work per week.
In terms of cost, Spot is definitely an investment. To estimate the price, the Softbank Pepper robot, launched in 2015, costs about $ 1,600. But other “tracked inspection robots” with features like Spot could cost $ 250,000, Perry says.
“Spot’s commercial customers saw that its benefits reduce risk, increase the frequency and quality of data collection, and use the talents available to companies to solve more complex tasks to create a value that significantly exceeds the cost of the robot,” says Perry.
“Spot prices balance the enormous benefits of mobile robots with an affordable entry point for developers and researchers to explore future applications,” he adds.
Spot Mastery is only one part of the equation; users need to know how to develop startup software and configure Spot for specific tasks.
“We designed Spot to be easy to use,” says Perry. “Early users adapted the deployment of Spot using robot mounting rails, payload ports, and a software development kit to expand the capabilities of the robot’s base platform.”
“Many never worked with a mobile robot before working with Spot, but they managed to use the usual programming of web applications for their applications,” he says.
The thought of companies using autonomous robots may make some people think. But in accordance with the terms of the sale of Boston Dynamics, companies must agree to “profitable use of their robots.”
To buy Spot, you must make a deposit of $ 1,000, and the robot is delivered between six and eight weeks, according to Boston Dynamics,
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