Spot gains foothold in a factory in Boston Dynamics’ latest video

Spot, the world’s most famous four-legged robot, sometimes looks more like an animatronic entertainer than an industrial machine. But creators Boston Dynamic want to remind the world in a new video that this thing can work, too.

The new Spot spot, titled “No Time To Dance”, shows the quadrupedal bot performing a series of tasks in an industrial setting. Spot takes readings from gauges, uses an infrared camera to scan some equipment, and generates work orders for human employees. And yes, it also does a dance.

It’s a slick video – a testimony to Boston Dynamics’ ability to make a robot tested for use with both the military and law enforcement appear cute and harmless. (And to be honest: it is harmless. It’s just the ways people can use it that are disturbing.)

The video is really a way to show off some of the small but useful upgrades Boston Dynamics is announcing for Spot: The robot’s five stereo cameras now produce color images; the tablet controller has been upgraded to a Samsung unit with a larger screen, longer battery life and a robust housing; it has a new charging module; and it has a new system-on-chip for faster on-device AI processing and 5G compatibility. (For the spec-hungry among you, the module is an Nvidia Jetson Xavier NX with — if BD uses the regular gear — 384 CUDA cores, 48 ​​Tensor cores, and 6 Arm CPUs.)

Again, all this is to remind you that Spot is a tool, not a toy. And it is looking for work.

You can see a detailed overview of the new features in the video below:

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