From AUVSI 2021: Man’s Next-Best Friend

One of the most interesting — and definitely the most entertaining — technologies on display at this year’s AUVSI XPONENTIAL trade show  was Boston Dynamics’s aptly named Spot robot.

The robot, which looks and acts like a big dog, is designed to automate sensing and inspection tasks in a variety of industries such as construction, oil and gas, mining, and manufacturing. It can carry payloads weighing up to 14 kg, and its optional gripper arm can lift items weighing up to 11 kg and drag items weighing as much as 25 kg.

Spot can either be programmed to perform repetitive autonomous missions, or controlled by an operator using a small, handheld tablet device. But it’s the robot’s terrain navigation capabilities that have to be seen to be believed. It can walk up and down stairs, maneuver around obstacles, and if knocked over, right itself and continue on with its mission. About the only thing Spot can’t do that a real dog can is bark. And eat you out of house and home.

Learn more about Day 1 at AUVSI 2021 in Atlanta.