Home » Liverpool John Moores Uni adopts ‘Spot’ the robot dog

Liverpool John Moores Uni adopts ‘Spot’ the robot dog

by Sion Geschwindt

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has become the first university in Europe to acquire ‘Spot’ – a four-legged, fully autonomous robot dog developed by Boston Dynamics.

The university with use Spot to teach and train its students, following a £150k investment into the initiative.

Equipped with a Trimble 3D Laser Scanner, Spot walks around sites and captures construction progress, which is then compared to the BIM model.

The robot dog can either undertake fully autonomous pre-programmed missions or can even be operated remotely and controlled off-site.

This makes Spot a good fit for surveys in hazardous conditions or for carrying out repetitive tasks, freeing up a skilled surveyor to work elsewhere.

Sam Hough, BuildingPoint UK and Ireland Business Manager, the company who supplied and adapted the robot dog, said: “LJMU is really at the forefront of what is happening within the construction industry which is currently undergoing a digital revolution.

“Not only is Spot an important addition to construction sites from a health and safety perspective, but also a significant reminder that if the construction industry is to overcome a skills and labour shortage, then this is just the sort of technology to attract a new, motivated generation of engineering surveyors. 

“Spot is presently active on several construction sites following investment by major construction companies so for LJMU to already be preparing the next generation of engineers in this way will be of considerable importance for the industry as a whole.”

Dr Fiona Borthwick, Interim Subject Head of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, added: “We’ve been excited about Spot for a very long time, so we’re pleased that we now have our robot dog up and running.

“It’s a great plus for our students that they will be familiar with this technology before they go full-time into the industry, and we look forward to further exploring Spot’s capabilities and options for different payloads.”

Image: ‘Spot’ is prepped with a Trimble 3D Laser Scanner at the BuildingPoint UK and Ireland Service Centre (supplied)

Read next: Swarm robotics startup teams up with Birmingham Uni to revolutionise tunnelling

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