Boston Dynamics Spot robotic dog is, depending on who you ask, either an existential threat to humanity or an essential tool that has a load of potential as a robotic companion. However you feel about that (and those are just opinions, yeah?), it’s a fact that Spot the robo-dog is now much less reliant on human control than it was previously.
Spot just wants to be a good doggo
after some internal discussion we have determined that Spot counts and we would pet (with caution)
— WeRateDogs® (@dog_rates) January 23, 2020
Boston Dynamics’ robotic canine has just received a new update (called Release 3.0) that enables all sorts of new behaviours for the yellow quadruped. Perhaps the most exciting is the ability to schedule the robotic critter to accomplish a task and just… have it work it out for itself. Unlike a Roomba that works just fine until it doesn’t, Boston Dynamics’ robot can now plan out the shortest route to a task on its own (within a mapped area, so it doesn’t go wandering off), and it’ll also dynamically replot where it’s supposed to go if someone leaves an unexpected load in your warehouse just before quitting time.
Spot is also more effective at making sure there’s nobody living behind that pallet of goods you just never seem to get around to moving. It can take repeated images from the same place and at the same angle, letting users see if anything is shifting when it shouldn’t (we suppose it would work on machinery as well), thanks to “…scene-based camera alignment for the Spot CAM+ pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera.” Plus, when there’s camera equipment attached, the robotic dog is capable of reading gauges, performing thermal analysis, or detecting acoustic anomalies. Because, like most dogs, the guy just wants to be useful.