A package of exciting new robotics is a highlight every time. A few days ago, we were delighted to welcome a new AI colleague to the Security Robotics team, a Spot® Enterprise with a back-mounted arm, and are putting its impressive capabilities through their paces. So, what can the new assistant do?
Few things are developing as rapidly as robotic systems. With every advance, or rather leap, new features are added and robots open up new areas of application. Even the familiar models we already use can cover a multitude of new tasks thanks to system upgrades or innovative payloads, i.e. equipment.
Robotic colleagues are part of our everyday life. We research, develop, integrate and test a variety of different models and Spot’s are a natural part of the team. In order to be able to cover all conceivable customer scenarios in the future, it is important to constantly stay on the ball and try out the possibilities of new technology.
Curious, we carried out a wide range of tests and very quickly realised what an invaluable extension such a flexibly usable gripping tool entails. It is not a “simple” 360° robot arm as used in the manufacturing industry, but there is a lot of intelligence and also camera and sensor technology in the extremity.
Opening doors and windows, safely picking up objects without crushing them, pulling, holding and transporting are no problem. Although Spot® has been able to get almost everywhere with its four legs, thanks to the arm it can get an overview from a height of 1.80 m, illuminate areas and detect them with (arm) cameras, measure distances, mechanically check the stability and contents of objects, and even “just in case” press door handles as a human would.
With its gripper arm, the robot can lift up to 11 kg, pull up to 25 kg and, thanks to its 360° range of motion, can be trained for a wide variety of tasks, precisely where efficient HANDling is important.
This variant thus provides highly effective support for human personnel and can be used even more flexibly in the typical use cases of security, maintenance and facility management. Especially where it is dangerous for people, i.e. in hot, contaminated or gas-laden areas, a Spot® Arm can have a decisive effect.
During rescue operations, objects in the way can be removed – remotely controlled – without a person having to go into ruins that are in danger of collapsing. People to be rescued can lean on the robot or be pulled out of critical areas. Doors that were previously impassable are now no longer a problem and Spot® can be used much more effectively in buildings as well.
During inspections, the checking of systems becomes even more precise and possible adjustments / settings / manipulations can be done directly with the gripper arm without sending additional personnel. This saves time and money.
In the wide spectrum of CRITIS sectors, it is important to guarantee maximum security. Agile, autonomous Spot® arms with various payloads that can face any situation can not only ensure perimeter protection, but also serve as an effective response tool.
For fun, Spot® Arm “served” us as a door opener, window closer, workshop assistant, sketch artist and even took the little GO1 for a walk. If so many possibilities are offered in play, what is this model capable of in real life?
Incidentally, the Spot® Arm also acts as part of a safety network, is integrated into the central software platform ACUDA via a wide variety of wireless communication channels and therefore needs neither wire nor “tether” to work as an integrated robot. The extended capabilities and features of its arm therefore benefit all networked systems / participants, e.g. they can call the system for support.
Chassis and arm work – dust- and water-protected – under the same operating conditions from -20° to +45°C and on the robot’s back there is room for another technology module, e.g. a LIDAR. We consider the extended autonomy of the “assistant” to be a special highlight – after all, it no longer needs a human being to do anything. This means that the “new one” is rightly in the limelight today and will in future play out its particular strengths as a clever supporter in customer projects.
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