How a four-legged robot can benefit humanity
In December 2018, ANYbotics finally proved that robotic dogs can be not only fun, but also valuable. The company brought such a machine to a power plant in the North sea. The robot is called ANYmal. Back in March 2018, all the media constantly discussed his ability to dance to any music using self-analysis algorithms. And now the autonomous bot has become the world’s first robot working at the power plant.
The most important condition for such stations is the reliable and safe operation of their facilities, especially in the production of energy at sea. Autonomous robots can provide comprehensive support through regular and automated testing of machines and infrastructures.
The bot is being tested on the world’s largest platform of TenneT Company. The tasks of the robot will include: check of sensors, meters, switches and other equipment that is on the station. It’s a tedious job that distracts scientists from more important things and is thus ideal for a robot. In addition, the station has many bottlenecks, which makes them difficult for the average person.
Why is a four-legged robot?
It has enough advantages over other types of machines. For example, the bot on the tracks will be long to avoid obstacles, in that time, ANYmal, on the contrary, can just pass through them. Bipedal robots still have significant issues of coordination, that can become a big problem to move around the station.
But the robot is also not without limitations. Some of the sensors are still too large for certain types of testing. It also can’t open doors or cabinets, so they have to be open all the time. However, these limitations will be removed with the next bot update. The neck, which extends, will allow ANYmal to work at higher distances, in addition, Boston Dynamics has already demonstrated how SpotMini can open doors with a cantilever appendage on the back.
The only real drawback of the bot is that ANYmal only performs a check – if it encounters a hardware problem, it won’t be able to fix it. People are still needed at the station for repairs and more complex technical tasks.