On the heels of Spot learning to take just a little more autonomy for itself, its newest parent company has announced a brand-new version of the robotic quadruped. Called the ‘Factory Safety Service Robot’, this roaming Spot-a-like has a brand new job — patrolling Hyundai’s factories.
Hyundai the impression this is a good thing
Boston Dynamics’ little
workhorse work… er… canine has been tweaked and upgraded with a brand new set of kit that lets it patrol one of the company’s Kia factories (in Gwangmyeong, South Korea), basically as a roaming robotic safety inspector.
Spot’s carrying around enhanced AI kit, as well as a thermal camera and LiDAR sensors, allowing it to roam the factory (after hours, mostly) and keep an eye on security (by watching for people), temperature anomalies and fire hazards, all automatically. There’s a way for observers to take over Spot’s tasks and manually control the robot if there’s something they’d like to take a closer look at, but for the most part, the robot dog is left on its own — unless it finds something amiss, of course.
Spot’s deployment is part of a pilot program that could see the robotic animal rolling out as a nighttime security guard in other sites. Whether that’s restricted to the South Korean automaker’s factories (unlikely) or whether it’ll turn into a specific (paid-for) bundle for any industry to get in on (much more likely) isn’t known just yet.