TU Wien Informatics

Spot® Goes TU Wien Informatics

  • By Theresa Aichinger-Fankhauser
  • 2022-03-24

Boston Dynamics Spot® is the newest member of staff at TU Wien Informatics. The agile robot will assist in various research collaborations.

It can see, measure, climb, and even dance - the famous Spot has a new home at TU Wien Informatics.
It can see, measure, climb, and even dance - the famous Spot has a new home at TU Wien Informatics.
Picture: Theresa Aichinger-Fankhauser / TU Wien Informatics

Spot’s lifelike movements and charm are unparalleled in the world of machines, but far more significant is its applicability for diverse projects in research, industry, and public service. Hannes Kaufmann, Professor for Virtual and Augmented Reality at TU Wien Informatics, together with Norbert Pfeifer, Professor at the Department for Geodesy and Geoinformation, and Marina Döring-Williams, Professor at the Department for History of Art, Building Archaeology and Restoration, initiated the purchase, which was fully funded by TU Wien.

“Spot is a platform with unprecedented versatility. One of its outstanding features is user-friendly software. Industrial robots usually need expert teams and intensive work to get them up and running, but Spot is ready to go right out of the box. This is a major advantage for our applied research,” explains Kaufmann.

Spot® offers perspective

One of the first collaborative projects of the Research Group for Computer Graphics will be attaching a laser scanner to Spot for autonomously producing 3D models in- and outdoors. The construction industry will highly benefit from this technology, using Spot to carry out real-time measurements and structural examinations. Yet there are numerous application areas, such as entertainment and gaming, where Spot could help to automatically produce 3D environments instead of the current expensive manual production.

Spot enables ‘virtual teleporting’ “because it can move freely, where humans are utterly restricted,” Hannes Kaufmann states, “this not only means that a construction manager can oversee a site from the office, but also that we can perform real-time measurements in inaccessible places – such as nuclear reactors or disaster zones.” There are no limits to development, from 3D imaging to sound or even olfactory transmissions in the future.

TU Wien Informatics will cooperate with diverse research groups from civil and electrical engineering to mathematics, architecture, and physics at TU Wien. Currently, Hannes Kaufmann and his team are also working with their industry partner BIMEXPERTS to use Spot’s agility for the alignment of building information models and their respective construction sites.

The Members of the Research Group for Computer Graphics at TU Wien Informatics are Hannes Kaufmann, Peter Kán, Iana Podkosova, Christian Schönauer, Francesco De Pace, Hugo Brument, Khrystyna Vasylevska, Emanuel Vonach, Soroosh Mortezapoor, and Mohammad Mirzaei.

Watch our Spot coming to life.
Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/uL46hWe2oVg

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