[imagesource: Boston Dynamics]
Over the years, we’ve seen Boston Dynamics’ robot dog ‘Spot’ dance, climb things, run around, and open doors, thereby providing nightmare fuel for people like myself who don’t like the idea of a robot uprising.
I can marvel at the technology without loving it. People can have more than one emotion.
Now that we have a pandemic to deal with, Spot has been deployed to help out with more important activities, like saving lives.
The Next Web explains that Spot is now assisting with something called ‘telemedicine’.
In this new solution, the iPad mounted on the robot lets health workers communicate with patients remotely, saving time, reducing exposure, and preserving personal protective equipment (PPE). The newly developed application is already under trial in Bringham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts.
Check out Spot in action:
Boston Dynamics says that it is open-sourcing Spot’s hardware and software design to help developers and roboticists engineer solutions for combatting the coronavirus.
We developed the payload, hardware, and software for this application so that they are generalizable and able to be deployed on other mobile robotic platforms with APIs and capacity for custom payloads.
Today, we are sharing the results of our initial work deploying the robot with Bringham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts and we are open-sourcing the hardware and software designs used to get these robots into the field. Our hope is that these tools can enable developers and roboticists to rapidly deploy robots in order to reduce risks to medical staff.
The company is also working hard to develop new technologies that could measure body temperature, pulse, heart and respiratory rate, using a thermal camera and a mounted RGB camera. They’re also looking at upgrading Spot with a UV-C light to disinfect spaces around the robot.
If you’re so inclined, you can check out the design documents and new applications code, here.
For the first time, I can say without irony, that Spot is (to quote the memes) the ‘goodest boy’.
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