[VIDEO] Virginia Tech Uses Robot Dog on Campus

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Spot robot.

Virginia Tech researchers are unleashing Boston Dynamics' robot dog "Spot" on university construction sites. According to Virginia Tech news, the robot will monitor construction progress.

The investigation explores whether construction progress monitoring can be improved by leveraging autonomous robotic technology. Six months into the study, the team published its initial findings which include operating procedures "required to launch legged robots in dynamic construction settings." 

On the job site, construction management students and researchers navigate Spot via remote control, according to the article. They capture 360-degree photographs of construction progress using the dog's built-in camera and app.

To automate data collection, 2D floor plans are loaded into the app and the operator marks the locations where data will be collected. The operator also records the robot’s navigation paths within the app for future use. After data gathered within the app is analyzed for accuracy.

For the students engaged in the study, every interaction with Spot has brought a new opportunity to put classroom knowledge into practice.

The research project is expected to conclude in fall 2021.