Boston Dynamics has partnered with Kidd Operations to trial Spot in an ultra-deep metal mine in northern Ontatio, Canada, testing its inspection capabilities.
According to Kidd, large-scale mining of copper, zinc and silver requires large equipment and large openings, which in turn require regular inspection from operators distanced from hazards.
The company described current inspection methods as “primitive”, citing the use of wheels on sticks as one such example.
However, deployment of Spot means the robot can access normally inaccessible areas of the mine (see video below).
Iain McKillip, manager of mine technical services at Kidd Operations, said: “There is nothing that compares to the way that Spot steps or moves around objects and loose ground and other types of material.
“I see a really big advantage when it comes to Spot and that’s the distance and duration that we can take on with it.
“We can put our people very far away from a hazard, and we can get in and get the information that we need.”
Furthermore, according to McKillip, the data Spot provides enables Kidd to make informed decisions quickly.
“Having a tool that can quickly, reliably get into everywhere that we need to get information and bring it back to us is invaluable to our business,” he added.