Ford is announced to be using two of Boston Dynamics robot dogs on its factory floors this coming month of August. The two robo-dogs known as Fluffy and Spot are meant to use their four-camera scanning systems in order to generate 3D maps of Ford’s Van Dyke plant in Michigan.
The maps will then be used by the company’s engineers to update their original designs of the facility.
“We design and build the plant. After that, over the years, changes are made that rarely get documented,” said Mark Goderis, Ford‘s digital engineering manager, in a statement. “Scanning one plant could take two weeks. With Fluffy’s help, we are able to do it in half the time.”
With this implementation, the move is to save Ford a lot of money as previous scans cost nearly US$300,000 to get a single facility. But if this new test work out for the company, this will cost a fraction of the previous money the company spends on scanning through it’s facility.
As for the robots, the car manufacturer hopes it can operate the robots from anywhere in the country just that they still require human operators now with a remote device which has a screen to stay within 50 meters of the robots which in turn monitors their acts.
Fluffy’s handler is engineer Paula Wiebelhaus, who was given the responsibility despite having never owned a dog or a video game controller.
“At first, I’m not gonna lie, it was kind of intimidating to be in control of a dog that is this high-tech,” she said. “But he is easy to operate, and he maneuvers well through spaces. He’ll go into some tight areas that Scouter, our other robot, won’t be able to accommodate.”
But that doesn’t mean that Scouter will be heading to the pound. The robots will be working together, with Scouter giving Fluffy rides around the aisles to help preserve its battery for the nooks and crannies with Ford trying to use Boston Dynamics Robot dogs, that also shows the future of robotics and what to expect from them as helpers in different situations.
Even though many people have always been wary of Boston Dynamics bots, these aren’t some killing machine from some post-apocalyptic era. They’re just robots programmed to do whatever thy’re been told to do….I mean they’re just meant to survey and generate 3D maps for Ford that’s all.