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Researchers Use Mobile Robot Dog 'Spot' To Monitor Progress At Construction Sites

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Researchers at Virginia Tech are unleashing a mobile robot dog to help collect data at construction sites.

"Spot" can't really bark or chase his tail, but it can capture 360-degree photos to fully document the construction process. It's being tested at three sites on the university's main campus in Blacksburg.

"It's just an interesting tool," says Julian Blazier, a construction project manager at Holden Hall, one of those three construction sites. "I think it's the beginning of robot technology being used in our industry heavily on the commercial side."

Researchers says robots like Spot can help improve data collection by accessing hard-to-reach or hazardous sites.

How would you like to walk THIS pup?

Posted by WDBJ7 on Thursday, August 12, 2021

"We are actually evaluating the Spot robot, that is manufactured by Boston Dynamics, to see how we can use a Spot to walk autonomously on the job site and take progress pictures," says Kereshmeh Afsari, an assistant professor at the Myers-Lawson School of Construction and the project's principal investigator.

Within the job sites, construction management students and researchers can navigate Spot using a remote control.

"Construction sites are dynamically changing. Every time that he goes to the job site, there is something new, there's something changed. New walls have been added or new floors are placed, and so the robot can get confused," Afsari tells CBS affiliate WDBJ.

Procon Consulting partnered with Virginia Tech and is a sponsor of the project, which is expected to be complete in in the fall of 2021.

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