Spot on Mars

Not many robots are known by name by many people, but Spot is in that group.

Pepper, Roomba, and Sofia might also be in that group. And of course the Terminator if we include fiction.

See Spot go

But Spot, the somewhat creepy dog robot from Boston Dynamics, is one of the best-known. Boston Dynamics, an MIT spin-off, was recently acquired by Hyundai Motor Group. They’re still working on Spot, though.


One of Spot’s new roles is as an explorer on Mars. Taking over for Mars rovers, a new iteration of Spot will be able to increase and improve the amount of information gathered on the red planet.

Spot…Rover…both are traditional names for dogs. That’s not the reason Spot has been chosen for this work, though.

See how SpaceX used Spot in their work.

NASA and Spot

Now NASA/JPL-Caltech is working on Mars dogs. One is named Au-Spot. Au-Spot can travel 12 times as fast as Mars rovers, and if it falls over it can get back up. The team called Collaborative SubTerranean Autonomous Resilient Robots, or CoSTAR, has built sensors for Au-Spot that will allow it to map its environment and transmit the information home.

NASA is excited by the idea of having Au-Spot explore and map caves on Mars. With LIDAR and AI, Au-Spot will be able to map areas of Mars which are currently inaccessible to rovers.

They have already tested Spot in underground situations with rough terrain.

No servos

Spot doesn’t use servo motors. You probably do, if you have robots in your workplace. And chances are very good that some your drive and control technology was made by Rexroth. NASA uses Rexroth, after all.

We’re Rexroth specialists, and we can help keep your Rexroth machinery running. We offer factory repair and reman as well as emergency replacement components. Call us and you can be sure of fast turnaround and first time right service every time.

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