‘Spot’ the robot dog is learning new tricks
on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico
Oil and gas firm BP
bought Spot from Boston Dynamics engineering company
to help out with a variety of tasks
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BP FACILITIES TECHNOLOGY MANAGER, ADAM BALLARD, SAYING: "Several hours a day, several operators will walk the facility; read gauges; listen for noise that doesn't sound right; look out at the horizon for anomalies, boats that may not be caught on radar; look for sheens, and so on and so on. So primarily right now, what we're looking to do with Spot, or what we're doing with Spot, is really trying to replicate that observation piece so that I don't need necessarily an operator to go do that. I can have an operator actually review that information from a central location, if you will."
Having Spot perform those tasks reduces the number of people on the rig
which is safer and frees up personnel to do other work
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BP FACILITIES TECHNOLOGY MANAGER ADAM BALLARD, SAYING: "But ultimately, we plan to do much more in regards to looking for things that humans can't. We've, through other technology programs, we've got multispectral, hyperspectral imaging that basically you can see many bands across that spectrum, and that the idea there is to throw something like that on Spot, or a robot similar, to be able to see things that the human eye can't see, and, such as methane emissions."