Spot’s latest robot dance highlights new features

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Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot has hit the dance floor again in a new video that seeks to highlight recent improvements to the quadruped contraption.

Spot, for the uninitiated, is a very versatile and incredibly intelligent robot that for some years has been available for deployment in a range of industries for tasks such as mapping, surveillance and inspection.

As part of ongoing promotional efforts, Boston Dynamics released cinematic footage this week that shows Spot working in an industrial plant, performing various jobs while moving around the facility.

The story takes an unexpected turn, however, when a smitten human employee, already aware of Spot’s dancing skills, embarks on an impromptu boogie with the robot dog.

Watching from afar, an employee asks her colleague if the dancer might consider returning to work. “I hope so – Spot found a lot of things that need to be fixed,” comes the response.

As mentioned above, the Boston Dynamics team has been busy upgrading Spot, with the fruits of their labor unveiled this week.

Improvements include improved cameras that now use color images instead of black and white. The controller, which is used to pilot the robot and also to create autonomous missions, now incorporates a Samsung tablet that is more robust and better protected against the weather.

A more powerful charging station is also part of the package, ensuring Spot can be back to work in just an hour after its battery runs low.

Anyone who has followed the development of Spot will know that Boston Dynamics offers various payloads that can be attached to the robot to make it more useful. Payloads can include components such as additional cameras, sensors, and laser scanners tailored to specific tasks. This week, the company announced two additional payloads with technology that enables next-level computing, radio communications, and 5G connectivity.

In a more detailed video about the update of Spot, we learn that the robot is currently deployed by industries in 35 countries.

“For many innovative companies, Spot is quickly becoming an integral part of asset management strategies and long-term predictive maintenance planning,” Boston Dynamics said in a new post on its website. “From nuclear environments to construction sites to manufacturing facilities, Spot proves that agile mobile robots can add value in a wide range of applications across many industries.”

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