Famed for creating Spot, the robot dog, Boston Dynamics has collaborated with three other tech companies to put Spot to work in construction sites, starting with San Francisco’s airport project.
The partnership will give Spot access to construction software packages Revit, Trimble Connect and BIM360. The first of the three partner companies is Holo-Builder, whose Spot Walk app will allow the dog to be trained to navigate individual construction sites to capture and collect 360° images of them. Singaporean imaging company Faro Technologies provides the automation of laser scans technology while Californian software company Trimble’s reality capture devices enable Spot to provide consistent output, deliver improved efficiency on repeatable tasks and enable up-to-date as-built data analysis.
“Time and accuracy are two things that are very important to a job site. Traditionally, you would have to sacrifice time out of a busy day to harvest jobsite pictures and organize them,” says Andrew Cameron, Project Manager at Hensel Phelps in Boston’s press release. “This partnership between Holo Builder and Boston Dynamics removes a time consuming step while providing accurate construction photos with a high degree of fidelity.”
Thanks to this strategic partnership, Spot’s newly built-in capabilities will enable the robot to by-pass obstacles and maintain its defined path to support routine tasks such as daily site scans, progress monitoring, asset management, and remote support.
Hensel Phelps had conducted pilot tests of the Spot Walk app at the US$1.2 billion (RM5 billion) Harvey Milk Terminal 1 project at San Francisco International Airport. The pilot was a success, according to Holo Builder, as it proved that the project team could get Spot Walk to function with just some minimal training on-site.
Michael Perry, Boston’s vice president of business development, said, “Our efforts have been to create a highly mobile robotics platform that can easily navigate unstructured or unknown environments. HoloBuilder’s SpotWalk app takes this a step further by creating an easy-to-use interface that fits seamlessly into construction workflows. We’re excited to see this integration start rolling out to early customers soon.”
The SpotWalk app is now available through an early adopter programme, where customers will receive two Spot robots, the HoloBuilder technology suite and on-site training.