Boston Dynamics’ robot dog on safety patrol duty at Kia factory

Boston Dynamics SpotBoston Dynamics, a U.S.-based robotics firm acquired by Hyundai Motor Group, has started test operations of its factory safety service robot in an effort to expand the use of its robotics products for various industrial tasks.

The automotive group said Friday that the robotics company’s factory safety service robot has started pilot operations at a Kia factory here. Hyundai Motor Group bought the U.S. robotics firm from Japan’s SoftBank in June 2020.

The Boston Dynamics’ quadruped robot called Spot is equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous navigation, tele-operation technology and computing payload features developed by the automotive group’s Robotics Lab.

Hyundai said Spot is able to detect people around it, monitor high-temperature situations and potential fire hazards thanks to its thermal camera and 3D LiDAR sensor. The robot can be remotely controlled, enabling engineers to observe various remote industrial areas. Using an AI technology-based navigation feature, the robot autonomously moves through its designated patrol area at the sites.

“The factory safety service robot autonomously moves and checks areas at dawn when workers leave their workplace and helps early morning patrols monitor safety matters more conveniently,” the company said.

Starting with the pilot operation at the Kia plant, the automotive group plans to accumulate various data to optimize the robot’s systems so it can be used at other industrial sites.

“The Factory Safety Service Robot is the first collaboration project with Boston Dynamics. The robot will help detect risks and secure people’s safety at industrial sites,” said Hyun Dong-jin, head of Hyundai Motor Group Robotics Lab. “We will also continue to create smart services that detect dangers at industrial sites and help create a safe work environment through continuous collaboration with Boston Dynamics.”

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