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Boston Dynamics “robot dog” arrives at a French army school

Boston Dynamics robot Spot in September 2020 at a demonstration at a robot gathering in Tokyo REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon / File Photo
Boston Dynamics robot Spot in September 2020 at a demonstration at a robot gathering in Tokyo REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon / File Photo

Boston Dynamics robots are always talking about, for their skills or their viral videos. This time, the results are not so positive. Two weeks ago, a French military school used several robots from the US firm, including the autonomous “robot dog” Spot. He did it in applied research exercises, but the quadruped’s performance was not as expected.

It was used in applied research exercises to conduct combat maneuvers with soldiers in training. Military school Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan used Spot, along with four other ground robots, to practice Military tactical maneuvers with a group of 80 students from the EMIA (Interarmas Military School).

The information transcended through the French medium West France, which has indicated that the other devices used belong to other companies and are called Caravantius Barracuda, Op 20 y itself. The French school shared images on Twitter showing Spot along with the other ground devices participating in the combat exercise.

Another of the ground robots used by the Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan military school (@SaintCyrCoet)
Another of the ground robots used by the Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan military school (@SaintCyrCoet)

The French media article points out that the robot viral carried out reconnaissance work. But a second lieutenant declared that the device does not have sufficient autonomy for this type of operation and “runs out of power in the middle of the assault”.

It is the first time that the Spot has been used for a military maneuver in France, although the device is already being tested by the NYPD to “evaluate its capabilities against other models in use by our Emergency Service Unit and Bomb Squad. ”The body stated in February on Twitter.

Spot is an autonomous and quadruped robot with great agility that is capable of climb stairs and adapt to any type of terrain, and which is being used primarily for data collection and surveying. This is how it is being used to create 3D maps and fault diagnosis on oil rigs located in the middle of the ocean.

Currently, the Boston Dynamics robot is for sale in the United States to companies in the same country for a price of USD 74.500 Y takes six to eight weeks to arrive.

Boston Dynamics robot now dances too

While there are videos of Spot patrolling public parks in Singapore last year, or dancing alone and alongside other robots from the American firm, there are also other plans for the evolution of the quadruped.

In December 2020, within the framework of the annual conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) researchers from the NASA/JPL-Caltech, unveiled a novel robot to explore and learn more about the hidden corners of Mars that involves the use of autonomous quadrupeds based on Spot.

The prototype of “martian dog” is named Au-Spot and it is already in the training phase, it is an agile system that seeks to explore surfaces that are difficult to access. The robots are lightweight, compact and fast moving compared to the Perseverance (currently on the red planet): They have 2.6% volume, 4.6% more mass than that vehicle and are 38 times faster, as explained in the presentation.

One of the reasons why it was thought to use this type of device is that due to its structure it has increased ability to move easily on rough terrain, have greater resilience and maneuvering capacity than Rovers currently used by NASA.

These vehicles are mostly confined to flat surfaces, but many regions on Mars, which are scientifically interesting, are only accessible after traversing very rough and sloping terrain. Walking robot dogs are suitable for that type of surface, and if they fall, they can be easily picked up.

(With information from PORTALTIC)

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