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Fraunhofer IOSB Welcomes Spot as Latest Member of its Robot Family

Yet another member joins the robot family in the Fraunhofer IOSB lab: Boston Dynamics’ Robot dog Spot has been equipped to support the decontamination tasks in ROBDEKON with advanced exploration capabilities.

The relatively new class of so-called »legged robots« provides an excellent alternative to wheeled or tracked vehicles when it comes to fast and agile exploration in rough and unstructured terrain. Since autonomous perception and exploration of the environment are an essential part of the work in ROBDEKON, Fraunhofer IOSB investigated the suitability of the Spot for decontamination scenarios at an early stage.

The equipped Spot © Fraunhofer IOSB

For this purpose, the Spot was equipped with a complex hardware setup that supports the onboard sensor technology and thus enables precise localization as well as environmental perception. In addition to a rotating lidar for overall perception and a solid-state lidar for object detection in the near field, a precise IMU and a differential GPS are used. The setup allows the utilization of the Algorithm Toolbox (ATB), which is developed by Fraunhofer IOSB and allows robots to gain advanced autonomy capabilities.

In addition to typical environmental perception tasks, Spot is intended to support the tracked excavator Alice in the decontamination process by generating a navigability analysis in advance. In the future, coordination within the multi-robot system will be further developed so that environmental data can be efficiently exchanged between the different platforms.

Robots Spot and Alice © Fraunhofer IOSB