A robot dog now herds sheep in New Zealand — here's how it works
- Boston Dynamics' four-legged robot, Spot, is being used in agriculture to herd sheep.
- The company announced a new partnership with New Zealand company Rocos.
- Using Boston Dynamics hardware and Rocos' remote operation technology, Spot can gather agricultural data.
- Recently, the robot has also been used to enforce social distancing in Singapore, and to screen COVID-19 patients at a Boston hospital.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Spot, Boston Dynamics' famous four-legged robot, has a new job: herding sheep. The robotics company announced a partnership with Rocos, a New Zealand company focused on robot operation software.
Rocos said that its software will make Spot more useful on remote missions, and make the data collected by Spot more useful and accessible for remote teams.
Spot has already been used and customized for all kind of purposes around the world. In Singapore, the robot dogs patrolled a popular park, playing messages encouraging social distancing, and estimating how many people were in the area. In a Boston hospital, Spot robots equipped with iPads and two-way radios were used by medical staff to evaluate possible COVID-19 patients. They've even been used by US police.
Boston Dynamics is a robotics company based in Boston that is known for its designs that mirror life-like movements that resemble people and animals leading to an uncanny valley effect that may make viewers uncomfortable. In testing the Rocos software, the Boston Dynamics team was able to explore and document previously uncharted areas of New Zealand, according to the statement.
Rocos predicts that these tools could be useful in agriculture, making food production more efficient, yielding more accurate estimates, and easing the strain of worker shortages.
Watch as Spot explores the terrain, and of course, herds some sheep.