The Boston Dynamics Robot Dog Is About To Get Its First Job

Two unequivocal truths of this world are that working on an oil rig is an incredibly dangerous profession, and dogs with jobs are a delight. Thanks to the literal geniuses at the engineering and robotics company Boston Dynamics those two truths are about to collide.

Employees of Norwegian oil rig Aker BP ASA will soon be getting a new co-worker in the form of Spot the robot dog. You may remember this non-furry friend from a series of viral videos demonstrating the quadruped robot doing terrifyingly well at a number of agility and reasoning tests. The engineers behind the pup are now looking to introduce it into a real life work environment. According to a press release from Aker BP and Cognite, Spot is already being trained in simulated environments to potentially take over several duties on real life oil rigs.

See Spot handle potentially hazardous tasks

Spot's new job is part of a larger initiative to introduce robotics to the oil and gas industry in hopes to improve safety and efficiency. Spot's dexterity will help it handle inspections, gather data, detect leaks, and perform various other tasks that are too dangerous to continue to have humans perform, and too difficult for traditional forms of automation to handle. Oil rigs are hazardous work environments by design. They combine the unstable nature of huge quantities of natural gas with the perils of extreme isolation, and as disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon explosion have demonstrated, mishaps can quickly lead to death and destruction.

Other less adorable robotics technologies, such as drones, are also being tested for use on rigs. While the loss of work for human employees at the hands of automation is always a concern when such ideas are introduced, there's hope that passing off some of the more hazardous tasks to robots will make life on the rig safer for everyone. At the very least a four-legged friend will hopefully be a boost to morale out there in the lonely arctic sea.