Boston Dynamics' robot dog heads to work at Ford

Spot has a new job scanning manufacturing plants at Ford.

Alexandra Garrett Associate Editor
Alexandra is an associate editor on CNET's Performance Optimization team. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, and interned with CNET's Tech and News teams while in school. Prior to joining CNET full time, Alexandra was a breaking news fellow at Newsweek, where she covered current events and politics.
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Boston Dynamics' robot dog Spot

Spot on a mapping mission.


Boston Dynamics' robot dog is heading to work at in August. The motor company is leasing two of the four-legged robots, nicknamed Fluffy and Spot, to map its Van Dyke manufacturing plant in Michigan. 

"We design and build the plant. After that, over the years, changes are made that rarely get documented," said Mark Goderis, Ford's digital engineering manager, in a release on Sunday. "Scanning one plant could take two weeks. With Fluffy's help, we are able to do it in half the time."

Goderis told CNET's Andrew Altman that Fluffy and Spot also help increase worker safety. The robo-pups allow Ford to see areas of its plant that "aren't necessarily safe for humans," traveling over stairs, conveyor belts and tight spots, he noted.

Watch this: How Ford is using a Boston Dynamics robot in one of its plants

Fluffy and Spot are equipped with five cameras and a laser scanner. The two dog-like robots will roam the plant at 3 mph for up to two hours at a time to help engineers collect data on the plant.

Scanning Ford's facilities isn't Spot's first job. The Boston Dynamics robot has also helped doctors assess coronavirus patients, remind humans to maintain social distancing protocols in public parks, herded sheep and pulled former MythBusters host Adan Savage in a rickshaw

Meet Boston Dynamics' weird and wonderful robot family

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