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Atlas humanoid robot goes to work

Boston Dynamics’ robots are no longer just flipping and jumping over obstacles for fun.

Now, the startup is putting its Spot robot dog to work.

A new video shows the sensor-equipped device touring several construction sites.

Spot has previously been shown navigating obstacles and climbing stairs with ease.

But it seems the robotics firm is preparing Spot for use in the workplace.

‘We have begun field testing the Spot robot for commercial usage around the world,’ Boston Dynamics said.

‘After an initial mapping run, Spot autonomously navigated two dynamic construction sites in Tokyo and used a specialized payload for surveying work progress.

An additional camera in its hand lets Spot do even more detailed inspection work on site,’ the firm added.

Boston Dynamics said it hopes to have Spot up and running for a ‘variety of applications’ by the second half of 2019.

Spot is currently in preproduction and the firm expects to build about 100 of the robots starting next year.

In the video, Spot can be seen strolling around the Takenaka Corp. and Fujita Corp. construction sites.

He climbs up and down stairs, over obstacles such as wood planks on the floor, as well as around corners.

Spot can also move in reverse and in a circle. At some points, he deploys his claw arm, as if to lift a nearby cardboard box.

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The robotic hand is fitted with a camera to perform inspections

Spot is just under three feet tall and has 3D vision, as well as 17 joints to help it move nimbly.

Boston Dynamics CEO Marc Raibert said earlier this year that he hopes Spot can be used in a variety of industries, including construction, delivery, security and home assistance.

Raibert also denied skeptics’ beliefs that his firm’s robots would one day be used to kill – insisting that they’re more likely to take on the role of servant in the future.

‘We think about that, but that’s also true for cars, airplanes, computers, lasers,’ Raibert said.

‘Every technology you can imagine has multiple ways of using it. If there’s a scary part, it’s just that people are scary. I don’t think the robots by themselves are scary.’

It comes as the firm just yesterday released an eye-popping video of its Atlas humanoid robot running and jumping over objects.

The firm said the robot’s software has been updated giving it the new features.

‘The control software uses the whole body including legs, arms and torso, to marshal the energy and strength for jumping over the log and leaping up the steps without breaking its pace.

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‘Atlas uses computer vision to locate itself with respect to visible markers on the approach to hit the terrain accurately. ‘


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