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Boston Dynamic Spot: a great robot dog

I see people are very excited about Spot because usually we see robots and machines that can move like that in movies. Spot is a dog robot from Boston Dynamic, a company that belongs to the US Department of Defense Advanced Defense Projects and is now a subsidiary of Hyundai.

On hand Boston Dynamic Spot: a great robot dog
I see people are very excited about Spot because usually we see robots and machines that can move like that in movies. Spot is a dog robot from Boston Dynamic, a company that belongs to the US Department of Defense Advanced Defense Projects and is now a subsidiary of Hyundai. I would like to share with you some of my information and experiences with Spot below.


This is the point that I noticed as soon as Spot stood up when it was started. And when it walks around, meets this person, dances… almost everyone thinks it’s a robot dog, not simply a robot. However, we know that to be able to move so familiar, Spot is a product of many years of development and it is almost impossible to find a robot that can move like that, or if there is one. it’s not brought out to us like this Spot.

Inhale very smoothly and inhale forever without getting tired.Boston_Dynamic_Spot_Tinhte_cuhiep26.jpg

Spot control is done mainly through a controller with a large screen like a Nintendo Switch or DJI’s newly released controller. It’s easier to control the Spot than it is to control a game console or a drone. You just need to use two multi-directional round knobs or touch on the screen and Spot will move according to the position you touch. And everything happens wirelessly, smoothly, and reacts instantly. It’s also something that makes Spot so approachable and familiar. The controller is like a game console for easy operation

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This controller is also a new point that Boston Dynamic recently updated for Spot. Not only does it provide easier control, but it also has better impact resistance, easier charging (fully charged in 2 hours) and also better battery life (8 hours every day). charge times). Controlling Spot is like controlling a character to move in the game, but this is real life and Spot will move in our environment. It only took 5-10 minutes to get used to, I was able to do all sorts of things with Spot.

Man plays dog and robot plays dogBoston_Dynamic_Spot_Tinhte_cuhiep20.jpg


Simply, you see it can go or run at 3 different speeds, the fastest is about 6 km / h. It’s as simple as it looks in the movies, but those who are technically proficient or have worked in the motion industry will find it to be a very difficult thing, requiring a lot of development and a lot of investment.

No robot has ever been able to do as many operations and smooth as Spot.Boston_Dynamic_Spot_Tinhte_cuhiep19.jpg

When 4 legs, flexible joints, we can control all actions individually, and combine 4 legs to create unlimited actions or manipulations that Spot can do. App Spot on the controller (running Android) also allows us to automatically combine the individual movements of each leg or body of the Spot to form a motion sequence that we desire.


Spot is equipped with cameras and sensors on all its edges so that it can see and sense its position with everything around it. Even if you control it, it will avoid people or dodge obstacles, not rush in.
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Sensor and front-facing camera. The sides and tail are also available. 

The camera will help us see around the Spot and combine to control, a form of augmented reality. This camera also provides images if you want to use it as to view images in a remote, inaccessible area…However, if you want better quality images, look further or wider, you need other accessories…

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The Spot stands out with its yellow color and capabilities, so people don’t notice that it requires a battery to operate. A battery is attached to the Spot’s belly and allows it to move or operate for about 90 minutes. In the Spot kit I borrowed from Hyundai, there are two batteries, a portable charger and a charging dock.
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The charging base is quite big and heavy. 

The charging base is quite similar to how the charging dock works for the robot vacuum cleaners. If you leave it in a certain position, Spot will automatically find the charger when needed or you can control it. A barcode is used so that Spot can identify the base. 

Boston_Dynamic_Spot_Tinhte_cuhiep28.jpgSit on the charging dock, get down to a sitting position.

Calibration board: This is a necessary accessory for Spot to automatically re-weigh the joints, sensors, and cameras back to their original positions after a period of operation. This is something I didn’t know before until the robot lender brought over a large crate and had this part. In order for the movements to remain accurate after a period of operation, this alignment is necessary.


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The calibration table includes many barcodes and Spot will look at it and then do programmed actions to perform the calibration. Each time it takes several minutes.

The second way to charge the Spot or change the battery in urgent cases is that you control it to automatically lie on its back to flip its belly up, revealing the battery pack underneath. At this point, you can lift out and insert a new battery, then let the battery drain into a charging station shaped like a suitcase and can monitor charging information very easily through the LED screen.

Boston_Dynamic_Spot_Tinhte_cuhiep33.jpgKnow how to turn your belly up so people can get a new battery to replace it and keep running.


Developing Spot as it is today was a process that spanned nearly two decades. In 2005, Boston Dynamics was famous for BigDog – a dog robot with a large size and flexible mobility not inferior to real dogs. In 2015, Spot first appeared in a smaller size and inherited many values ​​from BigDog and the humanoid robot Atlas that Boston Dynamics developed at the same time. At the time of launch, Spot had a rough appearance but possessed extremely flexible movement and very good balance.


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You can use your hands or feet to push the Spot and it just slips, then remains balanced and tries to stand up again as usual. This is rare compared to the robots that can move on foot so far.

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In 2016, Spot first appeared with a completely new look, cleaner, more flexible and with a more dog-like appearance. Ever since I saw Spot for the first time in real life, even though I’ve watched a lot of videos online about it before, my first impression is that it really gives people the feeling of a dog robot, not a robot dog. 1 machine. Spot with 4 flexible legs, body swaying and tilting in many different directions helps it express emotions like a real dog.
Boston_Dynamic_Spot_Tinhte_cuhiep14.jpgSeeing a cute sister is rushing in to be petted. Dogs indeed. Play with people. When threatened, he dodged, cuddled, he appeared happy, and when taking pictures, he also tilted his head to pose. The softness of the movements and the shaping of the “face” with the sensors help the Spot embody the spirit of a dog.

spot-minhtri-tinhte.jpg


With a starting price of 74,500 USD (more than 1.7 billion VND), Spot is definitely not just a toy or a demonstration device like what we do with it. The first purpose that led to the birth of Spot was to apply it to many different areas of life, serving the most ordinary jobs to the most dangerous ones. Spot is highly customizable and people just need to put on its back the necessary equipment that can make it extremely useful in a certain field.

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Areas where Spot can be involved include construction, manufacturing, energy, mining, oil and gas, instruction, entertainment, and research. With an arm attached to the Spot’s body, it has been able to do a lot of things from taking rock samples in narrow caves where humans can’t reach, to turning on electricity or turning faucets and even even dragging debris in the rubble to serve the rescue. With the added sensor system, Spot can run around capturing and reproducing a 3D image of a space. The data will then be used for a variety of purposes.


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In life, Spot has been used to help shepherd sheep, remind social distance, suppress criminals or pull carts to help people. If you think of something a human can do and then give Spot orders, it can do most of those jobs. Of course, with this great potential, Spot will certainly also be used in the military field. I have read through and interacted with many robotic systems with a lot of promise, but Spot is the first robot sold and has more practical applications. Through software updates, what Spot can do in the future depends on how far your imagination can fly.

Technical information about Spot:
Boston Dynamics Spot robot available with Intuitive Robots

See more photos of Boston Dynamic Spot dogs:

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