See Boston Dynamics robot dog Spot herd sheep like a pro in new video

The robot could end up being an ideal ranch hand that acts like a sheep dog but doesn't need to be fed.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read

Wonder what those dogs on the other side of the sheep think of Spot the robot stealing their jobs?

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Humans and dogs aren't the only ones who can master the art of herding livestock. Boston Dynamics' four-legged robot dog Spot seems to be doing a fine job of maneuvering sheep across the pasture.  

In a new video posted by robotics software company Rocos on Tuesday, Spot is seen roaming the New Zealand grasslands, showing off its shepherding skills with a group of sheep. 

Rocos' video showcases the various advancements in precision agriculture Spot the robot could help make possible, such as corralling sheep without the supervision of humans.

" Robots , like Spot from Boston Dynamics, increase accuracy in yield estimates, relieve the strain of worker shortages, and create precision in farming," Rocos wrote in its YouTube video description. 

The video features Spot  walking through an orchard, navigating tough terrain like rocky hills, crossing a wooden bridge and in the end, herding sheep -- all by using its infrared cameras, real-time mapping technologies and advanced sensors.

Rocos mentions in the video that the company plans to create a computerized system that could manage a bunch of Spot robots remotely. This would enable the robots to function independently of each other, which would free up time for humans running large ranches and farms.

Rocos and Boston Dynamics didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

This isn't too hard to image Spot doing. The Boston Dynamics robot has already helped doctors assess coronavirus patients, reminded humans to maintain social distance protocols in public parks, and even pulled former MythBusters host Adam Savage around in a rickshaw

Granted, robots herding livestock isn't entirely new. Back in 2013, robotics researchers from Sydney, Australia, tested a real-life robotic rustler named Rover that successfully rounded up cattle from a field to a nearby dairy.

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