Spot: The Robotic Dog Transforming Industries and Saving Lives

A glimpse into Spot’s heroic achievements and remarkable capabilities

An unprecedented hero, the robot dog Spot emerged from Boston Dynamics’ technological advancements. The four-legged wonder isn’t just man’s best friend; it stands as a bullet-tanking scout, safeguarding the lives of police officers and others from dangerous, life-threatening risks. 

On March 6th, Massachusetts police faced a seven-hour stand-off with an armed thirty-year-old holding his mother at knifepoint. To the police’s rescue, a Spot model named Roscoe, alongside two other robots, was deployed to locate the suspect, Justin Moreira, while minimizing any harm done to the officers. Roscoe navigated through rooms and located Moreira but was then shot three times, losing communication with the police. With the help of Roscoe’s surveillance, the SWAT team was able to safely apprehend Moreira and the hostages without suffering injuries (1).

Roscoe, the deployed Spot, and its injuries from the shots before facing surgery.

The police said using Roscoe helped avert a tragedy by preventing the need for human operators and protecting officers from a shootout. “We are relieved that the only casualty that day was our robot,” Boston Dynamics said. “It’s a great example of how mobile robots like Spot can be used to save lives” (2).

Helping police departments is one of the countless jobs Spot can tackle. In Singapore, Hyundai’s Experimental Innovation Center has over 200 robots, including Spots, that work alongside humans to maximize efficiency in the car industry. Typically, cars are manufactured through an assembly line, but in Hyundai’s Center, the car travels between stations, which Hyundai calls “cells.” Equipped with multiple sensors and motors, Spot moves around the workspace for quality control, taking pictures in each cell after tasks are completed so engineers can maintain the flow and mark any irregularities (3).

Used across many other industries, Spot helps with construction, navigation, entertainment, and more (3). Its versatile and highly agile design allows it to inspect dangerous locations, such as nuclear plants and electrified substations, where humans would be at risk. Spot was even tested in extreme conditions at the deepest base metal mine in the world, where it helped protect workers by inspecting the potential hazards of rock bursts and large-scale caving (4). 

Spot was first released in June of 2016, when Boston Dynamics revealed the creation of the four-legged mechanical dog. A year later, a promotional video of Spot opening a door went viral on YouTube, tallying over 2M views. After many test trials and challenges, Boston Dynamics released Spot, their first commercial robot (5). 

The robot has excellent mobility through the use of many motors, sensors, its connected head, and a robotic arm that can help with tasks like opening doors. Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, its body contains computers and cameras as the robot dog’s control center. The battery provides power for Spot for around 90 minutes in action and four hours on stand-by.

When faced with a task, such as putting a ball on the table, Spot tries many different methods until it determines the most efficient and successful one. Its perception system can learn from past trials due to one of its powerful capabilities, machine learning. With many machine learning algorithms embedded within the robot, Spot can self-navigate simple problems and designated tasks. The robot can also be operated manually through a tablet with mobile game-like settings (6). 

The upgraded version of Spot integrated with Open AI, styled to match its funny personality.

While Spot’s capabilities attract the public, the resources and research needed to create Spot come with a hefty price of $74,500. Despite this steep cost, Spot’s contributions to creating a safer, predictable, and more efficient environment capture the attention of many industries that invest in both Spot and the future of technology (7).

The rise of AI has created many new opportunities for the field of technology. Boston Dynamics’ AI developers recently incorporated Chat GPT into the robot dog for an upgraded Spot with speaking abilities. The new Spot model has no problem guiding visitors around and informing them about the objects around them. Styled with a small black top hat and big googly eyes, the AI-integrated Spot can take on various personalities and accents and solve more complex problems. Developers were amazed when they asked Spot who its parents were, and it strolled into the office with the past versions of Spot called Spot V1 and Big Dog, naming them as its elders (8).

While AI and technological advancements may appear promising, many people are skeptical and scared of the risks these refinements bring. For more reliability and assurance, Boston Dynamics prohibited the weaponization of a Spot robot or any use that could cause harm or intimidation. Alongside Boston Dynamics, Massachusetts passed a bill on the Responsible Use of Robots, which states that robots mounted with a weapon cannot be manufactured, sold, or operated (1).

In the near future, autonomous robots like Spot are expected to spike in the market with improved technology and clear safety guidelines for an enhanced workspace (5). Soon, a fourth version of Spot will be released introducing “site maps,” which allow for easier monitoring and mission control (9). With each advancement in the engineering world, Spot further improves its remarkable capabilities, paving the way for the world of autonomous robots.


  1. Limehouse, J. (2024, March 28). Robots taking on tasks from mundane to dangerous: Police robot dog shot by suspect. USA TODAY. USA TODAY. Retrieved from 
  2. ‌Coen, S. (2024, March 29). Roscoe the robot dog credited with saving police lives during armed raid in Massachusetts. The Telegraph. The Telegraph. Retrieved from 
  3. Ochoa, J. (2023, November 21). Boston Dynamics’ robot dogs have an impressive new job. TheStreet. TheStreet. Retrieved from 
  4. Spot’s Year in the Real World | Boston Dynamics. (2023, August 24). Boston Dynamics. Retrieved from
  5. ‌Boston Dynamics’ Spot: The Design Behind the Robot Dog | IoT World Today. (2024). Retrieved from 
  6. ‌Boston Dynamics Support Center. (2024). Retrieved from 
  7. ‌Heller, K. (2021, August 8). Spot is the $74,500 robot dog of our dystopian dreams. Washington Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved from 
  8. matthew. (2023, October 31). robot dog that talks in british accent and sounds like human? boston dynamics says, why not? designboom | architecture & design magazine. Retrieved from
  9. Boston Dynamics Support Center. (2024). Retrieved from