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Spot: The Sleek & Agile Quadruped Transforming Industries

company logo for Boston Dynamics Boston Dynamics

Country: United States of America

Year: 2020


Spot, the agile and sleek quadruped robot from Boston Dynamics, is revolutionizing various industries with its ability to navigate complex environments and perform diverse tasks

Status: Commercially available

Operation: Autonomous, Semi-autonomous, Teleoperation

Robot Type / Domain: Multi/General-Purpose, Industrial, Emergency & Disaster Response

Tasks: Inspection, Exploration, Capture Data, Search and Rescue, and More

Whimsical Intro (by addoobot)

Dogs are loyal friends who can sniff out problems but can't swap out their parts for different tasks or skip sleep. Enter Spot, the agile robotic dog — choose from a variety of accessories and sensors and let your robotic companion do the work or sniff out problems, or should we say scan out problems.

More Videos

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The launch of Spot
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Spot upgraded with new features and hadrware
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Spot as a tour guide - integrated with ChatGPT and other AI
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Industrial inspection with Spot

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Introduction to Spot: the Game-Changing Robot in the Industry and Beyond

Many of us have seen videos of Spot performing outlandish stunts and moves. If you haven’t, you're missing out! It can stand back up by itself after falling, balance itself when kicked, go up the stairs with ease, and more. But there is more to this quadruped than its moves, agility, and robustness. Spot has exceptional intelligence, thanks to its advanced proprietary algorithms and sensors. All of these features are essential for the complex environments it is designed to operate in, from industrial plants and factories to applications like search and rescue.

What Makes Spot Special: Design and Capabilities

What sets Spot apart is its sleek and agile frame. This enables it to gracefully move within complex environments and terrains while effectively handling unforeseen obstacles, abilities that are vital in complex industrial settings.

Of course, its software and intelligence are equally impressive and crucial for its successful operations. For example, Spot can efficiently map the environment using its sensors. This map can then be used for various real-time operations, such as navigating with precision and future inspections. 

Spot in Action: Applications and Use Cases

Factory floors, research labs, industrial plants, construction sites, outdoor environments, search and rescue - you name it, Spot can do the work. This level of versatility is what has made it attractive to global and leading manufacturing and high-tech companies. 

Spot is particularly popular for performing inspections and complex data collection. Such tasks can be valuable for operators to detect abnormalities, help with decision-making and improvements, or discover trends relevant to the operation or the site. 

If there are health and safety risks involved, e.g., when performing regular inspections in a hazardous environment, then deploying Spot can be highly beneficial. Spot can be trained to perform inspections or other tasks at regular intervals without the need for human intervention. It can charge itself, perform the task autonomously, and collect data for review by experts. 

Other Features and Benefits of Utilizing Spot

Other than its advanced features, Spot is designed with ease of use and an intuitive learning curve in mind. Transitioning to a robotics-based solution is often difficult in the industry due to the unfamiliarity of workers with robotics and the fear of change. Thus, the industry often prefers robots like Spot, which are ready to operate right out of the box and feature straightforward deployment procedures.

Another interesting feature of Spot is its capability to be equipped with various sensors or accessories to perform tasks tailored to meet specific needs. For example, it can be equipped with thermal or acoustic sensors for inspection in certain environments; or an arm, known as Spot Arm, can be added to manipulate objects and the environment around it. 

The Spot Arm enables the robot to pick up objects, drag items around, open doors, clear obstructions, and much more. This is because it is dexterous (6-DoF) and has a payload of 11kg with the ability to drag objects weighing up to 25kg. Furthermore, like Spot itself, the arm can also be operated autonomously or remotely (teleoperation). 

Brief History

Boston Dynamics was amongst the first to not only lead research and development efforts in quadruped but also to successfully transition this technology for commercial use. 

The journey of Boston Dynamics started in 1992 as a spin-off from MIT. When it comes to quadruped robots, they are renowned for the development of dynamic and highly mobile quadruped models like BigDog, LS3 (also known as AlphaDog), and more recently, Spot.

Unlike BigDog which was intended for military applications to assist soldiers with carrying heavy loads across rough terrain, the Spot robot was intended mainly for the industry and was commercially available in 2020. The introduction of Spot marked a significant milestone for commercial quadruped robots. Despite challenges involved with the willingness of organizations to embrace the change and integrate robots such as Spot within their operations, there has been continuous and significant popularity of Spot and a growing acceptance in utilizing it for real-world applications. 

Technical Specifications

Min. Size: 1100L  500W  191H (mm)

Min. Size: 43.307L  19.685W  7.520H (in)

Max. Size: 1100L  500W  700H (mm)

Max. Size: 43.307L  19.685W  27.559H (in)

Max. Payload: 14 kg

Max. Payload: 30.865 lbs

Weight: 31.7 kg

Weight: 69.887 lbs

Max. Locomotion Speed: 1.6 m/s

Max. Locomotion Speed: 5.249 ft/s

Max. Slope: 30°

Battery Operated? Yes

Average Runtime: 1.5 hr(s)

Max. Runtime: N/A

Battery Recharge Time: 1 hr(s)

Gaits: Walk, Run, Amble, Jump, Creep, Other, Stairs, Crawl, Jog, Hop

Number of Legs: 4

DOFs per Leg: 3

DOFs per Arm/Manipulator: N/A

DOFs (total): 12

Manipulation: arm, gripper / hand, other

IP Rating: IP54

Operating Temperature: -20 ℃ to 45 ℃

Operating Temperature: -4.000 ℉ to 113.000 ℉

Open-source? N/A

Price: N/A

Max step height on flat ground: 30 cm (12 in)

Lighting: > 2 lux

Optional arm: Degrees of Freedom: 6 + gripper • Length (at full extension): 984 mm (38.7 in) • Mass/Weight (including gripper): 8 kg (17.6 lbs) • Max. Endpoint Speed: 10 m/s • Max. Lift Capacity*: Up to 11 kg (24.3 lbs)

Sensors: Black-and-white or color fisheye, range (depth), infrared • 5 optical cameras (front-left, front-right, left, right, back) • 5 stereo pairs (front-left, front-right, left, right, back)

Battery: Battery capacity 564 Wh • Max battery voltage 58.8 V • Typical runtime 90 minutes • Standby time 180 minutes • Charger power 400 W • Max charge current 7 A

Data Transmission / Communication: Explorer WiFi: 2.4Ghz, 802.11 b/g/n, • Enterprise WiFi: 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, 802.11 b/g/n • Ethernet: 1000Base-T

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Comment by addoobot - Our Perspective

Spot is priced higher than many other quadruped robots, but the pricing reflects its premium positioning among quadrupeds and is justified by its unique and top-tier features and capabilities. We believe that Boston Dynamics' enormous experience and expertise in the field of quadruped robotics, combined with their well-known track record in showcasing exceptional outputs, means continued delivery of state-of-the-art quadruped technology for many years to come. 

addoorable score:
We find Spot both 'addoorable' and sleek, especially when equipped with the Spot Arm. Many enthusiasts have dressed it up and customized it, making it even more 'addoorable'! Can you think of creative ways to make it even more 'addoorable'? Let us know in the comments below!

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Average rating: 10.0 out of 10 Number of stars 5.0

Total ratings: 2

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Tariq_Mystic   8 months, 1 week ago
wheres my spot !!! It'd be cool if there was a cheaper version for home use
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