LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Meet Spot and Rivet: 43-inch long, 70-pound robot dogs with cameras all around.
The smart dogs reside at the National Institute for Aviation Research, inside the John Bardo Center at Wichita State University, with Ping and Pong, Tick and Tock and Razzle and Dazzle. And it’s Spot who steals the show inside this multi-robotic work cell.
“We’re just at the cutting edge of figuring out everything that is possible to use with technology that you see around me,” one of the dog handlers, Michael Schlotterbeck, tells CBS affiliate KWCH.
Schlotterbeck, a senior manager with Deloitte Consulting, says Spot’s potential use goes far beyond turning heads. He says the robotic dog will soon be working in a manufacturing environment.
— KWCH Eyewitness News (@KWCH12) December 4, 2020
“Underneath is actually pretty sophisticated set of machinery that you can use for many different use cases in industry such as inspecting construction sites,” Schlotterbeck explains. “You can send it around in factory at night to check for inventory locations. There’s just a myriad of opportunities.”
In the spring of 2021, the pair of robotic dogs will be relocating to Deloitte’s Smart Factory @ Wichita, “a groundbreaking and immersive experiential learning environment that will accelerate the future of manufacturing as innovation and new technologies continue to reshape operations and the modern enterprise.”
Deloitte is building the Smart Factory on WSU’s Innovation Campus. The 60,000 square foot building will feature a new state of the art production line. It will look at the interaction between humans and robots in an effort to re-imagine the future of manufacturing.
“The idea is trying to figure out how to make producers and manufacturers more productive to increase throughput, increase their efficiency through the use of different types of automation,” Schlotterbeck says. “Part of what we’re doing here is also exploring the human and robotic interaction of how we can work together in the future.”