Boston Dynamics “Spot” is Entering Construction

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Robison Wells

For years we’ve seen Spot, the Boston Dynamics robot making viral videos walking, climbing, jumping, and doing other gymnastics. But now it’s going to get some jobsite training.

German construction startup HoloBuilder, in partnership with Boston Dynamics, has equipped Spot with virtual reality software to begin site inspections of construction projects. Spot can take 360-degree photos of every nook and corner of the jobsite using its special software. The photos are then used to reconstruct a 3D model in virtual reality where engineers can view it and check progress of the job site.

This task has been being completed thus far by a human with a camera, but Spot is intended to automate the process and save time while boosting accuracy. Spot’s first assignment is the new Harvey Milk Terminal of the San Francisco International Airport.

Spot travels at first by remote control, but once it “learns” about its environment, it can take over the controls and inspect and assess its surroundings, scanning and mapping every inch of the jobsite, delivering nearly instantaneous imagery to engineers.

Boston Dynamics expects to move quickly into mass production, estimating it will build one thousand Spot robots by mid-2020. Early adopting customers receive two Spot robots, a full HoloBuilder technology suite, and on-site training.

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