Robot Dog Spot Digitizes Construction Sites

© Behind the Mask
The robot dog scans its environment and delivers the data basis for the digital twin.

It does not bark, does not bite, has six eyes and an electric motor in its belly: Spot is a dog-like robot with a lot of talents. It scours hazardous environments in emergency scenarios for the New York Police Department, the fire department uses it for search and rescue missions, while in the remote pastures of New Zealand, it herds sheep. Spot, which was developed by the US robotics company Boston Dynamics, will also watch over construction sites in Germany in the future. At its headquarters in Stuttgart, Drees & Sommer SE, a consulting company specializing in construction and real estate, is researching several different applications for new construction and existing buildings.

Spot can raise construction site documentation to a whole new level because it can record and store all structural changes, safely and on a regular basis. This brings considerable advantages, because construction plans are patient, and in reality, delays and deviations from the original planning tend to be the rule rather than the exception. Whether it involves problems with obtaining materials, disruption in supply chains, or lack of tradespersons, construction almost always turns out differently than originally planned. ’It used to be the responsibility of the construction management team to check and document progress and any delays at the site, and to update any changes in the digital twin. Now there is a stable four-legged assistant for those time-consuming tasks.

Although Spot's route can be pre-programmed, it is still controlled by tablet in all corners of the construction site at the moment, since the legal framework does not allow self-guided movement. The 73-kilogram robodog is not only impressive on stairs and non-slip boards, but can also avoid people and cement bags. Spot gained its first experience with target/actual comparison last year, during construction of Drees & Sommer's new office building at Obere Waldplätze 12 in Stuttgart (known as OWP 12).

Find more information in our press release.