Boston Dynamic's Spot gets yet another jobMarie Donlon | March 24, 2022
As part of its RobotCrop Project, which seeks to develop technology to achieve a more sustainable agricultural sector, the U.K.’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) has turned Boston Dynamics’ robotic dog Spot into an agricultural robot.
The autonomous Spot robot was outfitted with a newly designed payload that enables the robotic dog to perform autonomous agricultural inspections to check crops for quality and ripeness, pests and diseases — all while dispensing pesticides only when appropriate.
MTC aims to use Spot to eventually increase crop yield, improve produce quality, reduce labor costs and free up resources for value-added tasks in the agricultural industry, according to the organization.
Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision, Spot can scan crops for pests, diseases, quality and ripeness, navigate rough terrain, offer real-time feedback and access typically inaccessible spaces, according to the MTC team.
Recently, Spot — which has performed tasks ranging from oil and gas rig inspections and logistics functions in the manufacturing space to patrolling factories — has been deployed to an orchard in Kent, England, where the robot performs around-the-clock crop management.
For more on Spot’s performance at the Kent farm, visit the MTC website.