April 13, 2021
I test-drove a Boston Dynamics Spot robot from 3,000 miles away - Video

I test-drove a Boston Dynamics Spot robot from 3,000 miles away – Video


Everyone’s favorite robotic dog just learned some new tricks.
[MUSIC]
Of course, I’m talking about spot from Boston dynamics.
Company, just released software that allows anyone with an internet connection In a computer control a spot robot, anywhere on the world.
Now the company is about to give me your remote demonstration to show me how it works.
But then I’m going to get to pick a spot robot for a test drive.
This is our demo lab.
This is a place where we do a lot of internal testing.
And we also do some testing with partners as well in this space.
And so what we’re sitting on right now is the charging dock station.
So it’s hard to see it from data at freeze point of view.
So we just wanted to show you what that looks like.
And once you’re ready, he’s going to initiate Getting off the duck.
And then he’s going to show beta 66 points back on the duck.
And how this is working is pretty neat.
So you’ll see the black and white image on the dock that looks like a QR code.
It’s called an APR tag or fiducial.
And that’s what the robot uses to localize itself and face.
And so it knows that once it sees that particular fiducial that particular sequence that it can go ahead and start a stalking behavior.
So the robot has their stereo Ray cameras built in on this body and it uses that to Place itself in the world and perceive the world around it.
So there’s two on the front, one on each side, one in the back.
They’re really meant for the robot.
So you can see that it’s not a great view, but it is capable and that not only gives us information but you can actually drive the robot through this cue.
In what we call click to go, and this is a 3D model of perception system so it’s camera being exactly what the robot sees in real time.
And you can also drove drive the robot through this view as well.
But for now, I’m gonna stick to the spy cam because I like to navigate the space Using the color camera.
But I’m also gonna pop out the terrain view, and put that in the corner to help guide me, so I can see what obstacles are in my way.
And so why that’s really handy is that I’m not a roboticist And I can learn how to drive spot within 15 minutes.
So anybody can really begin to drive this robot and make it useful within a short period of time.
So I’m gonna go ahead and go into inspect mode.
I just press my spacebar here.
I’m actually nudging it.
Yeah, and what I wanna do is in this inspection task, pretend as the routine cat guy working remotely, and I’m going to zoom in across an object that I need to look at and make sure that it’s in good working order every day.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So here’s where the 30 times optical zoom comes in handy.
I can really see this up close.
And then once I’m done with that, I’m gonna hit this button down here and I’m just gonna recenter it.
[MUSIC]
So I just continued walking across the walkway It’s good to point out that this is a pretty challenging environment for robot.
It’s not only stairs but it is open riser stairs and a graded platform.
So I’m going to switch to the back to you because we’re driving spot.
We want to drive it.
Backwards downstairs, I’m going to use the click to go method to drive the robot.
So just to highlight how the look, I’m popping out my picture in picture.
And then I’m going to use when I get to the until a little more I’m going to pitch down and then I’m just gonna send it down the stairs.
And I don’t have to do anything except telling this robot where to go.
And to be honest, I’m not being terribly exact either.
So Shawn just sent you your link, and go ahead and open that and then share your screen with us.
All right, let’s take spot for a walk.
I would recommend popping out The little cheat sheet down at the bottom that I have.
So there’s a small keyboard down at your very left hand corner.
Go ahead and open that.
And then if you want, you can also do the robot train, view picture and pictures.
Like to open that if at your bottom right hand corner this guy, all right.
Cool, right.
Great we go.
Wow!
There he goes.
Let’s see if take a spot over this thing.
[SOUND] All right,
Yesh
you can do just fine.
He just makes his way all the way to the top.
Even though I
yeah
Couldn’t click up there
Exactly and so you came out is quite an angle and the robot actually was going up at an angle up the stairs.
And I’m not gonna accidentally knock spot down the stairs.
But we put it through its paces I feel like I’m like 15 years old learning to drive but for some reason my dad Let me try this new femur instead of the old Volvo.
[MUSIC]
They have to hold down the key continuously and-
[UNKNOWN]
[UNKNOWN]
Yeah, [UNKNOWN].
I mean, I’m not really much of a gamer, but this does feel very much like a video.
Well, that’s a good thing [UNKNOWN].
Those are actually really intuitive.
You can open up your [UNKNOWN].
menu is on your left and you can turn on the audio.
You might be able to hear it through the mic that’s on the robots.
Yeah.
And go ahead and turn on audio.
Yeah, I can hear it.
Yaeh that’s All right.
Everyone knows that.
[MUSIC]
How long before you find that people just get really, really comfortable and within control?
So it’s second nature second nature.
Yeah, I mean, a guy has been doing this.
Ever since the pandemic started all of our demos for customers has been, you know, using some version of this.
So, I think more often than not folks get pretty up and running within like 10 to 15 minutes.
The one thing that I think is a different differentiator is having the robot physically present.
I think you really understand its capabilities when it’s actually there with you and you’re watching it, do all of this stuff.
You know, kind of making this abstracted experience.
We’re on the other side of the world driving a robot, I think is more intuitive than most people expected it to be.
Hannah, Would you say that’s the case?
Yeah, I mean, people of all ages, they can easily get comfortable driving this robot within 10 to 15 minutes.
And then it really is interesting to see like what controls people prefer, like, you could swap to the robot terrain view right now, for example, for your main view, and then you can also drive the robot through that view.
And so sometimes people being an actual 3D model of the robot Gives them a lot more context like I’m actually placing the robot over here as in.
You know, that’s a little different than being like I’m pressing us to backup the robot.
Most people are pretty excited to drive it.
It’s really, I mean, this format is really fun but also grabbing it in a lot of money.
I mean and that’s and that’s what’s so funny about this as you know, I’ve got you know, I’ve seen I’ve been covering spot for years now I’ve been watching videos.
Now I’ve done videos on it a million times and I’ve seen it take all this abuse but now that I’m actually the one who’s driving it and I’m standing in front of these stairs And I’m terrified that I’m just gonna knock him down and I think I guess that’s just human nature.
To just realize that I haven’t done I haven’t tried putting him in stock, so maybe I should give that a try.
All right, definitely.
All right, so now I just got to get them back down the stairs.
What I’d recommend you to do is turn it around.
And then drive backwards and you can actually see the legs walking down, it’s pretty cool.
Cool, let’s try that.
Alright, that’s looking pretty good.
So now, just back up?
That’s right.
You got it.
I do, [INAUDIBLE] can do this.
[BLANK_AUDIO]
There it goes.
I love it
And just drive it towards one of the box.
It doesn’t really matter which one it is.
And you’ll see that little dock button pop up.
All right?
Let me get the spot to use Brandon.
We are trying to find something clear from here.>> There it is.
Hey there Spock.
It’s dinner time.
Yeah we keep getting notes from people saying that the dock should be designed like a dog house.
[BLANK_AUDIO]
[INAUDIBLE]
In the next [INAUDIBLE]
iteration.
[BLANK_AUDIO]



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