The robotic dog busy delivering data on dangerous construction sites for Balfour Beatty

Spot delivers CAT designs for derelict buildings and nuclear power plants

“I work in a survey department. Here we keep records or take measurements of sites including dangerous derelict buildings, nuclear power plants, or similar,” explained Jaye Saddington to IE.

“We’ll send the dog out first, with our 3D scanner on top to take room measurements.”

According to Saddington, the robotic dog essentially captures a number of photos that may be combined to create a comprehensive blueprint or CAT design of the building structure.

The trio: Boston Dynamics, Balfour Beatty, and Trimble

You can put anything on top of Spot the Dog

“At the moment, we’re the middleman between Boston Dynamics, the people who make it, and Trimble, those who made the scanner,” said Saddington.

He explained that Balfour Beatty is currently in an early development program for the American company, enabling them to work out what they can and can’t do with the robotic dog.

Additionally, as well as specializing in advanced 3D scanning systems, Trimble develops a range of other kits compatible with the robotic dog. The scanner, which utilizes Lidar technology, is just one of many devices Beatty is currently testing for their construction requirements.

“You could put whatever you want on top of it. For our case, we’ve got a scanner, but in the future we might need a GPS,” he added.

“I essentially make a visual force field around the dog”

Saddington also revealed to IE that he could set the proximity of the robot-ie, how close it gets to something before it moves out of the way.

“I essentially make a visual force field around the dog. So if I send it to a chair, it will just walk around it when it gets to, say, 50 centimeters of it,” he explained.

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