Prague’s underground tunnels being mapped by robot dogs

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering at Prague’s Czech Technical University recently acquired two new assistants – agile dog-like machines with robotic arms that can navigate terrain and capture data – and is using them to create a digital 3D map of Prague’s underground tunnel network.

Spot, as its name suggests, is somewhat reminiscent of a bright yellow robotic dog. But this ‘robodog’ from US company Boston Dynamics can do a lot more than sit and come when called, as professor Tomáš Svoboda explains:

“It’s a quadruped robot with an integrated robotic arm, that’s essentially able to manipulate objects, even open and close doors. One of the unique features is that the arm, and more precisely the gripper, is equipped with sensors in the palm, so the robotic arm can perceive the environment – it can see, it has an RGB camera and also a depth sensor, so it can measure the distance to the object it is going to grasp.”

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Author: Anna Fodor