Hyundai bought Boston Dynamics, giving birth to a factory service robot based on Spot – a robot dog. This time, the engineering and robotics design company has updated the terrifyingly cute robot with better sensors, a new tablet controller, and a smarter and faster charger. Apparently, it also gained better dancing chops, as seen in the video embedded above.
Spot now has five stereo cameras all over its body which provide full-color imagery. While the robot itself doesn't need color to see, the integration of colors is for the operator's view. This makes deciphering the robot's environment easier through the Scout remote operation software or a tablet.
Speaking of tablets, Spot also gets a new tablet, which will be the biggest upgrade for the robot dog's operators. It's used to either drive the robot or for autonomous missions, now integrated with smarter features.
Meanwhile, Spot's charger is now faster and smarter. Charging the battery to full capacity only takes an hour, though swapping batteries is still the easiest and fastest way to get Spot back to operation.
Ever since Hyundai bought Boston Dynamics in 2020, Hyundai has utilized the robot in various ways. Kia's South Korean plant has employed one in service since September 2021 – a Factory Safety Service Robot developed for various industrial tasks, particularly in people detection, high-temperature situations and fire hazards monitoring, and checking if a door is closed or open.
Spot also appeared in a promotional Hyundai video that featured the automaker's global brand ambassador and worldwide music phenomenon BTS. The robot dog showed some serious dancing skills there, though we can argue that its newfound talent, as seen in the video atop this page, can top that.
At this point, we're seeing Spot in a different light – far from our initial impression. We just hope it sticks to dancing and factory service work, rather than picking up weapons like in Black Mirror's Metalhead episode.