It doesn't bark, it doesn't bite, it has six eyes and an electric motor in its belly: Spot is a dog-like robot with many talents. For the New York Police Department, it searches through dangerous environments in emergency scenarios, firefighters use it for search and rescue missions, and in isolated pastures in New Zealand, it herds sheep. In the future, Spot, developed by the American robotics company Boston Dynamics, will also oversee construction sites. The consulting firm Drees & Sommer, specializing in construction and real estate, is studying different possibilities for its use in new and existing buildings.
Spot can take construction documentation to a whole new level, as it can record and securely store all construction modifications regularly. This presents significant advantages, as construction plans are patient and in reality, delays and deviations from the initial plan are the rule rather than the exception. Whether it's material supply problems, disruptions in supply chains, or failures of certain trades, construction is almost always different from what was originally planned. "Until now, it was up to construction management to check the progress of the work and any delays, document them, and update any changes in the digital twin," explains Wolfgang Kroll, team leader at Drees & Sommer, who promotes digitization in construction management. "Now there is a stable quadruped assistant for these time-consuming tasks. Our long-term goal is to represent the entire progress of a project's work in a single coherent model and to compare the theoretical state from planning with the actual state on the construction site."
Spot's path can certainly be programmed in advance. Currently, it is still guided in all corners of the construction site via a tablet, as legal conditions prohibit autonomous paths. The 73 kg robot dog not only impresses with its ability to walk up stairs and on boards, but can also avoid people or bags of cement. Last year, Spot made its first experiences with the comparison of theoretical and real values during the construction of Drees & Sommer OWP 12's new headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.
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