Boston Dynamics’ Spot ditches French army to inspect factories

Spot will help out with late-night security patrols to start, and if the test goes well, it could expand to other areas

With the thrill of the hunt wearing thin, Boston Dynamics’ ‘Spot’ robot has left the French army to become a factory safety inspector.

According to a press release from Hyundai, the company is testing Spot at a Kia manufacturing plant in South Korea. Spot will roam the factory looking for potential risks to help improve on-site safety. Engadget points out that this marks the first public collaboration between Hyundai and Boston Dynamics since the automaker acquired a majority stake in the robotics company earlier this year.

Hyundai also put out a YouTube video showing Spot in action. Attentive users may notice the robot looks a little different in Hyundai’s video – that’s because it’s sporting a special backpack. The backpack adds several enhancements to Spot, including a thermal camera, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and an ‘AI Processing Service Unit’ with extra resources for handling more intense artificial intelligence processing.

The service unit allows Spot to detect people, monitor temperatures and check for fire hazards. It can also detect dangers and send alarms to managers.

Additionally, Hyundai says operators can remote-control the robot through a secure website with a live stream, which will allow office personnel to observe industrial areas remotely.

The test program will help Hyundai assess Spot’s efficacy. To start, the robot will support late-night security patrols. Hyundai indicates that if testing goes well, it could expand the robot’s patrol areas and consider additional deployments at other industrial sites.

Image credit: Hyundai

Source: Hyundai Via: Engadget