LIVE FROM MWL UNWRAPPED: IBM and Boston Dynamics continued to highlight the benefits of pushing processing power and analytics to the network edge through a robot dog which they used for maintenance in industrial settings.

During a keynote, Kay Murphy, global partner for robotics solutions at IBM (pictured), and Boston Dynamics’ director of sales Patrick Campbell, noted Spot the robot dog was initially developed in 2019 and then deployed two years later.

Campbell said there are now 1,000 robots in operation. On-board processing and AI analytics are employed to securely perform tasks ranging from maintenance to gathering information in remote areas or those deemed too dangerous for humans.

“The robot is a computer in and of itself, so it has processing power natively,” Campbell explained, adding most of the capabilities involve the movement of the robot, but the unit can be configured to perform “complex” analysis.

Murphy explained Spot also has AI models enabling it to see, recognise and report potential problems before equipment is damaged.

“The goal here is to shorten the time between being able to identify a problem and doing something about it,” she stated.

Campbell explained future robot development is being guided by customer requirements, with the goal of making such uses of the devices “commonplace” for industrial settings.

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