Boston Dynamics robo-dog bags a real job. What?
After making waves with some mind-boggling YouTube videos, Spot, the super-cool robo-dog built by Boston Dynamics, is going for a real job. Yes, the machine has been hired by a leading oil producer for patrolling its rig in Norway as well as performing a range of other functions. It is set to join the team in the coming months. Here are the details.
According to a Bloomberg report, Norweigan oil and gas producer Aker BP, which is striving to be a leader in the oil industry, has employed Spot for patrolling duties. As part of this, the four-legged machine will guard Aker's production vessel at the Skarv field in Norway while performing routine inspections - looking for things like hydrocarbon leaks and generating reports on the same.
By bringing automated Spot into the loop, Aker hopes to make its offshore oil operations safe and more efficient than ever before. The move makes sense, as machines make an ideal candidate to work at oil rigs, which can be incredibly dangerous for humans - especially those tasked with the critical job of detecting leaks or conducting timely inspections.
As Aker BP mentioned in a press release, Spot has already been tested in simulated oil and gas environments and will start working at its facility this year itself. To note, during this job, the robot will be tested and controlled through the software developed by Cognite AS - the AI software company controlled by Aker ASA, the parent of Aker BP.
Depending on Spot's performance, Aker BP may bring more machines, including drones and underwater vehicles, to its rig in hopes of automating processes and putting humans out of harm's way. Karl Johnny Hersvik, CEO of Aker BP, said, "Our vision is to digitalize all our operations from cradle to grave in order to increase productivity, enhance quality and improve the safety of our employees."
To recall, prior to this, Spot has been seen opening doors as well as working as part of the bomb squad of the Massachusetts State Police - a test that ran only for a period of three months last year.