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The construction industry has been an area of early commercial success for Boston Dynamics‘ Spot quadruped. And today during its Actuate conference, the Waltham, Mass.-based RBR50 company announced a partnership with Trimble to take its focus on construction to the next level.
The partnership gives Trimble exclusivity to sell and support the Spot robot with integrated scanning, total station and GNSS technologies for the construction market. Specifically, the integrated solution will add Trimble’s data collection sensors and field control software to the Spot robot. The companies said this will enable automation of tasks such as site scans, surveying, progress monitoring and more.
This system is expected to be available by the second quarter 2021 through Boston Dynamics, Trimble and select BuildingPoint and SITECH distribution partners. It will be sold in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Customers involved in Trimble’s Early Experience Program could have the chance to preview development of the solution in advance of general availability.
“The integrated solution will enable any jobsite leader to deploy Spot and Trimble technologies to get an accurate view of construction progress through real-time data collection,” said Michael Perry, vice president of business development at Boston Dynamics. “With a more comprehensive view of site activity, project managers can take proactive measures to ensure on-time, on-budget and safer project delivery.”
Mortenson, a Minneapolis-based builder, developer and engineering services provider, has been piloting Spot robots with Trimble’s SPS986 GNSS solutions to autonomously navigate challenging exterior construction environments such as solar farms to continuously document existing site conditions. An automated and repeatable approach to field data capture can provide Mortenson with real-time awareness of project status, helping to accelerate project delivery.
“Robots will play a crucial role in automated construction workflows and can augment the human workforce by handling dirty, dull and dangerous tasks,” said Martin Holmgren, general manager, Building Field Solutions at Trimble. “Our experience with early adopters like Mortenson gave us visibility into the transformative potential of an integrated solution that seamlessly marries a world-class robot with construction-specific sensors and workflows. We’re excited about this alliance and the potential to bring unprecedented improvements in safety, quality and productivity to our construction customers.”
Boston Dynamics made a number of other announcements at its Actuate conference, including Spot version 2.1, self-charging stations for Spot, a new Web-based user interface, a production robot arm for Spot that’s coming in early 2021 and more. Stay tuned as The Robot Report will have more updates from Boston Dynamics’ Actuate conference.
Perry recently joined The Robot Report Podcast to discuss the commercial launch of the Spot robot throughout the U.S. Boston Dynamics has since opened up sales of Spot to Canada, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. On the podcast, Perry discussed Spot’s progression and launch, the most unique Spot applications, and the status of Spot’s robotic manipulator. He also provided updates on Boston Dynamics’ Pick vision system and its other robots in development, including Handle. You can listen to the podcast episode below.