'Robot dog' helps Orange County construction crew using new technology

A four-legged friend is helping construction crews in Orange County.

"Spot," a Boston Dynamics Mobile Robot, is helping the building team at Robins & Morton make their work more efficient and keeping them safe.

"Spot takes over the mundane tasks that they usually have to go through on a daily basis," explained David Pratt with Robins & Morton.

He was operating the "dog bot" at what will be the HostDime facility in Eatonville.

Spot can work remotely or alone. It scans the area making sure things are in the right place and going beyond the red tape where it can be unsafe for humans.

"There are robots out there that are wheel but they can't maneuver over terrain like this. Spot can go over obstacles, go around obstacles, it can avoid people, avoid things and even has a shutdown feature where it lays down," said Pratt.

The robot helps contractors streamline visual data collection and improves worksite safety for its human counterparts by safely accessing spaces that are difficult or dangerous to reach, such as crawlspaces and rooftops without barriers. With its ability to navigate job sites, climb stairs and work in challenging environments, the Spot robot can be outfitted to capture 360-degree images of a job site, conduct 3D laser scanning, and document conditions behind walls, under floors and above ceilings.

Spot has what is called a "dog house" where it uploads and shares findings through the internet.  The firm said it is a new technology that could make it easier for construction crews especially now during a worker shortage.

"We didn’t realize they would be using the dog bot but once they told me about it, this is the first project they are going to use it on, it made sense."

Manny Vivar of HostDime, the hardware storage data center being built, says the technology also keeps the project running on time.

Boston Dynamic's robot starts at about $75,000. Any additions are extra. 

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