LSU Construction Management welcomes new robot pet

Local News

Photo of Spot the robot dog provided by LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. (BrProud) – When LSU Construction Management (LSU CM) students return this fall, they will have a new, not-so-furry friend. Spot, a robot dog, will soon inhabit one of the department’s labs.

Spot the “dog-bot” was created by Boston Dynamics and serves a multitude of purposes. For example, Spot can inspect gas leaks, get close to COVID-19 patients and even herd sheep. The robot can also climb stairs and and move on all terrains with ease. Spot’s “trainer” LSU Construction Management Professor Jonathan Shi told LSU Spot can be trained to do whatever the department would like him to do. 

“We want to create a mission telling Spot where to go and what information to gather,” Shi told LSU. “What can we learn from that information and what decisions can be made accordingly? On a construction site, you do inspections and send people to check on safety regulations and progress. What we see, we do not always remember, and it’s also not very detailed. Spot’s sensors enable us to gather more precise information.”

According to LSU CM, Spot has a graphics processing unit (GPU) and sensors better than human eyes and ears. These specs give the robot the ability to detect dangerous situations like those in the oil and gas industry and in mines. Spot uses WiFi, telephone networks and GPS to communicate. On top of all of Spot’s other capabilities, LSU CM says the robot pet can take 360-degree photos. Shi hopes that the students can work to create other capabilities for Spot.

“Students will be happy to see what this new technology can do,” Shi said. “It’s exciting for them and their research.”

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