The architects behind Apple Park are using Boston Dynamics' lifelike $75,000 Spot robot in construction — see how

  • Robotics company Boston Dynamics announced that its robot dog, Spot, is now for commercial sale Canada, the EU, and the UK, following earlier release in the US.
  • The robot retails for $74,500, with a lead time of 6-8 weeks.
  • Spot has already been used in hospitals, agriculture, and most recently by architecture firm Foster and Partners.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories

Spot, Boston Dynamics' famous four-legged robot, is officially available to purchase in Canada and Europe. In the UK, frequent Apple collaborator Foster and Partners are using Spot on their Battersea Power Station project.

For $74,500, Spot is ready for use by "developers eager to explore how flexible mobile robots can be adapted for tasks ranging from industrial inspection to entertainment."

Spot was previously only available to US customers after a $1,000 deposit since June. The company suggests several uses for the dog-like robot: "Inspect dangerous, inaccessible, and remote environments, automate data collection on your site, carry payloads on unstructured or unknown terrain." 

Previously, companies used Spot as part of the "Early Adopter Program," which meant they could lease the robot under certain conditions. If customers violated the agreement, Boston Dynamics could reclaim the robot and end the relationship. Under that program, architecture firm Foster and Partners, which designed Apple Park, the Steve Jobs Theater, and some of the tech giant's most recognizable stores, is using Spot on a construction project in London. 

Now, interested customers can buy Spot directly. Here are a few things Spot has already done. 

Boston area hospitals started reaching out to Boston Dynamics in early March asking for robots that could help minimize staff exposure to COVID-19.

Source: Business Insider 

To work with COVID-19 patients at a Boston hospital, Spot robots were equipped with iPads and two-way radios.

Using this setup, doctors could talk to patients and evaluate their symptoms from afar, without having to put themselves at risk of exposure.

Boston Dynamics said that for every shift completed by a robot, at least one healthcare worker can decrease their exposure to coronavirus.

Boston Dynamics has been working on ways for Spot to measure body temperature, respiratory rate, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation.

In New Zealand, Boston Dynamics' Spot partnered with another company, Rocos, to herd sheep and collect agricultural data.

Source: Business Insider

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.

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.

In a Singapore park, Spot was used to encourage social distancing because of COVID-19.

Source: Business Insider

Spot walked around the park with a speaker telling people to stay at least one meter apart, and scanning for estimates of crowd sizes.

Boston Dynamics already partnered with some construction companies to use Spot.

Source: Robotics Business Review

On construction sites, Spot can walk through and capture 360 degree images of progress.

Massachusetts State Police used a Spot robot for several months in 2019.

Source: Business Insider

Videos showed Spot opening doors and engaging in surveillance. According to the lease agreement, the robot was only used by the Bomb Squad.

Foster and Partners, which is behind some of Apple's most iconic stores, are now using Spot in the Battersea Power Station project in London.

They are using the roof garden as a test for Spot.

The robot returns to the site weekly to scan certain areas and capture data that the team can use.

They also used Spot to create four-dimensional models.

"The ability of Spot to repeatedly and effortlessly complete routine scans, in an ever-changing environment was invaluable not only in terms of the consistency but also the large amount of high-quality data collected," Martha Tsigkari, a partner at Foster and Partners, said in a release.

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