It’s been a while since we’ve heard about Boston Dynamics’ Spot, the robotic dog, but he’s back in action.
While most might remember the creepy resemblance between this robotic dog and the one in the last Black Mirror season, Boston Dynamics is showing that, at his core, Spot is still a rare pupper.
And they’re also keeping the promise that they will send it out in the world!
The quadruped Spot robot was sent to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard University in Boston, helping triage patients suspected of COVID-19 infections.
Deployed as a telemedicine machine, Spot has a custom mount and a place to hold an iPad, so that doctors or other healthcare workers and their patients can teleconference.
“With current protocols at local hospitals, patients suspected to have COVID-19 are asked to line up in tents outside to answer questions and get initial assessments for temperature.
This process requires up to five medical staff, placing those individuals at high risk of contracting the virus,” explained Boston Dynamics in a statement, which also has some other great news.
The company, which started as Alphabet-owned but was sold to Softbank, will open-source all its work to “empower any mobile robotics platform to leverage the same hardware and software stack that we’ve developed to help frontline healthcare workers”.
And how is Spot the robot doing so far?
Boston Dynamics says the robot is in its second week of activity and that they are “encouraged by their reports that using the robot has helped their nursing staff minimize time exposed to potentially contagious patients.”