Spotting the SPOT

Even in 2020, most of the industrial robots are clumsy and huge. They are designed to do specific tasks. Moving them to different terrains is quite challenging. But there is Spot: the odd-robot-out!

With the ability to move on uneven surfaces, to climb stairs, to dynamically avoid obstacles, and the ability to get back on its legs from a fall, Spot is a novel product from Boston Dynamics.

Photo: Boston Dynamics

The key feature of Spot is its mobility. 

With its advanced onboard navigation tools, Spot can walk at a speed of around 1.6 m/s. With additional payload weights, the system automatically balances the spot to move smoothly.

Spot is designed to climb stairs with a height of 30 cm and climb the slopes with ±30° inclination.

Photo: Boston Dynamics

Spot avoid obstacles and gets familiar with the new environment through its built-in stereo cameras. These are monochrome cameras that help Spot to map its surroundings in 3D and to avoid obstacles. 

The locomotion is powered by its inbuilt computer, running an i5 Core processor, 16 GB memory and 512 GB SSD storage. 

Another advantage of Spot is the ability to add mods. The ability of Spot can be improved by adding LIDAR, robotic arm and better cameras depending on the need of its applications. 

Spot is powered by a swappable battery with a runtime of 90 minutes. Boston Dynamics started the commercial sale of this dynamic robot in June 2020 and it is available for $75,000.

Photo: Boston Dynamics

This rain and dust resistance assistance got a wide range of applications. As per Boston Dynamics, Spot can be used in Public Safety, Health Care, Mining, Construction, Research and even for Entertainment.

On this date, one can spot more than 250 Spots on this planet. Some inside research laboratories, some doing heavy duties in industries and some chilling in the rain. 

Written by M R Raghul 

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