Boston Dynamics has expanded the product line for its mobile robot Spot with the launch of a self-charging version, remote-control software and robotic arm.
The latest additions are intended to extend Spot’s ability to perform autonomous, remote inspections and data collection, and enable the robot to perform manual tasks.
As autonomy is crucial in developing the mobile robot, the manufacturer has introduced Spot Enterprise, which has self-charging capabilities and a dock. This enables longer inspection tasks and data collection missions with little-to-no human interaction.
Furthermore, Spot Enterprise has upgraded hardware for improved safety, communications, and behaviour in remote environments. Boston Dynamics said the upgrades expand the range that autonomous missions can cover, extend WiFi support, add flexibility to Spot’s payload ports, and enable users to quickly offload large data sets collected during the robot’s mission.
To scale up remote operations the company has developed Scout, a web-based software that enables operators to control their Spot fleets from a virtual control room. Operators can use Scout to take Spot anywhere a person could go on-site, allowing them to inspect critical equipment or hazardous areas from afar.
According to Boston Dynamics, the software is designed with a simple user interface to run pre-programmed autonomous missions or manually control the robot, to perform various tasks such as walking or posing the robot to capture images and thermal data of obscured gauges or pipes using the Spot CAM+IR thermal imaging payload.
In addition to launching products designed to make remote inspection safer, Boston Dynamics has also released Spot Arm.
The robotic arm can perform physical work in human-centric environments, allowing users to act on data insights. It is equipped to operate through both semi-autonomous actions and telemanipulation.
Spot Arm can manually or semi-autonomously grasp, lift, carry, place, and drag a wide variety of objects with the arm’s six-degrees-of-freedom and gripper.
It is also capable of manipulating objects with constrained movement and can open and close valves, pull levers and turn handles and knobs in coordination with its body to open standard push and pull doors.
Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics, said: “Since first launching Spot, we have worked closely with our customers to identify how the robot could best support their mission-critical applications.
“Our customers want reliable data collection in remote, hazardous, and dynamic worksites. We developed the new Spot products with these needs in mind, and with the goal of making it easy to regularly and remotely perform critical inspections, improving safety and operations.”