Boston Dynamics dog robot 'Spot' learns new tricks on BP oil rig

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(Reuters) – Boston Dynamics’ dog-like robot ‘Spot’ is learning new tricks.
Working on an oil rig operated by BP Plc nearly 190 miles (305 km) offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, the company is programming Spot to read gauges, look for corrosion, map out the facility and even sniff out methane on its Mad Dog rig.
Adam Ballard, BP’s facilities technology manager, said tasks performed by Spot will make the work on the rig safer by reducing the number of people. It also will free up personnel to do other work.
“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,” Ballard said.
“What we’re doing with …

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