By the last month of 2020, Hyundai made a surprising move. The automaker purchased Boston Dynamics, a company known for its robots. The Korean marque acquired a controlling stake of around 80 percent, sharing the remaining 20 percent from SoftBank Group.
Fast forward to last July, Hyundai showcased its dancing robot dog with its global brand ambassador and worldwide music phenomenon BTS, but we all know that the acquisition of Boston Dynamics isn’t for the sake of entertainment.
This time, Hyundai shows off the Factory Safety Service Robot – its firstborn with Boston Dynamics and created in support of site safety in Kia's South Korean plant.
Gallery: Hyundai Factory Safety Service Robot Now In Service
If you've been watching quite a lot of sci-fi thrillers lately, particularly Black Mirror's Metalhead episode, turn away and close this page as this will might remind you of something.
The robotic dog, now to be called the Robot, is based on Boston Dynamics' quadruped robot called Spot. The technology does come with applied artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous navigation, teleoperation technologies, and computing payload (AI Processing Service Unit). More importantly, the remote-controlled Robot is developed for various industrial tasks, particularly in people detection, high-temperature situations and fire hazards monitoring, and check if a door is closed or open.
Hyundai announces that the Robot will be in service in its Kia's South Korean factory as support for late-night security patrols and to create a safer environment for workers. It's also a way for Hyundai Group to assess its effectiveness before expanding its operation in patrol areas and other tasks in other industrial sites.
"We will also continue to create smart services that detect dangers at industrial sites and help support a safe work environment through continuous collaborations with Boston Dynamics," said Dong Jin Hyun, Head of Hyundai Motor Group Robotics Lab.