Boston Dynamics deployed a fleet of its dog-like robots, called Spot, to herd sheep and conduct other agricultural tasks — inspecting crops, navigating rough terrain and more — in New Zealand. This month, the company released a video of this demonstration to announce its new partnership with Rocos, a New Zealand-based firm that can monitor and operate groups of robots at a time (with humans controlling the robots remotely). By combining their technology, Boston Dynamics and Rocos aim to show how robots can be used to explore areas (even those tough to maneuver around in), gather data in real-time, and use that data to streamline business operations.
One way to know you’ve arrived at ‘the future’? When dogs – which have herded sheep for generations – are being replaced by robot dogs!
Ok, ok. We could joke about the Spot robots prancing around NZ’s farms all day. But let’s dive into the urgent opportunities automation poses now, because the story of robots in the workplace has evolved beyond them simply taking our jobs (or the common fear of this happening). For example, take the fact that Spot can navigate tough, even dangerous environments so people don’t have to. (No) thanks to the pandemic, nearly every workplace – with employees in close proximity to one another – is considered more dangerous than it was before. Hence robots, which can’t transmit/catch viruses, being rapidly embraced by a number of industries. They’ve been employed to clean airports, ensure groceries are free from human contact, and even work as baristas.
Even if your organization hasn’t made automation a priority before, could you think about how you might deploy it? Not only to run your business more safely, but also gather valuable data at the same time?
The TrendWatching content team