Spot, the Robotic Tour Guide with a Twist
Oct. 27, 2023. 1 min. read.
🤖🐶 Meet Spot, Boston Dynamics' robot dog turned chatty tour guide! With top hat and wit, it's transforming tours with a British accent and a dash of humor. #RoboticRevolution 🎩💬
Meet Spot, the Chatty Robot Dog
Boston Dynamics’ Spot, known for running, jumping, and dancing, has now added ‘talking’ to its repertoire. In a quirky video, Spot, adorned with a top hat, mustache, and googly eyes, guides staff around the company’s facilities with a British accent. “Shall we commence our journey?” it asks, leading visitors to charging stations and answering questions with its “mouth” moving in sync.
Behind Spot’s Conversational Skills
To give Spot its voice, Boston Dynamics harnessed OpenAI’s ChatGPT API and other large language models (LLMs). They equipped Spot with a speaker, text-to-speech capabilities, and a gripper that mimics speech “like the mouth of a puppet.” Spot’s script is brief but combined with visual inputs from its cameras, enabling it to tailor responses to what it “sees.”
A Dog of Many Personalities
Spot isn’t just a one-personality robot. It transforms into a 1920s archaeologist, a teenager, a Shakespearean time traveler, and even a sarcastic soul, lamenting in a haiku, “Generator hums low in a room devoid of joy. Much like my soul.” These personas add a quirky twist to its tours.
Surprises and Potential
Boston Dynamics encountered surprises, like Spot identifying its “parents” as the older models displayed in the office. While there were hiccups, like the robot suggesting a box-moving robot was designed for yoga, the team remains excited. They see potential in combining artificial intelligence and robotics, envisioning tasks being assigned to robots through simple conversation.
A Light-Hearted Take on a Serious Bot
Despite the whimsical presentation, it’s hard to forget Spot’s more serious applications, such as aiding police and military operations. But for now, we can enjoy Spot’s lighter side as a talking, top-hat-wearing tour guide.