Technology seems to be advancing by leaps and bounds. And we mean this literally. Boston Dynamics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google, has robots that can leap tall buildings, scale walls, navigate tough terrain, and more. The company has both wheeled and four-legged robots for indoor and outdoor operations. The robots are electric-powered, hydraulically activated, and with advanced sensors for navigating rough terrain.
These robots are amazing. One is Cheetah – the fastest robot in the world that travels at 29 miles per hour. Another robot – Sand Flea – weighs only 11 pounds and can jump 30 feet in the air. There are also anthropomorphic robots that can test chemical and protection wear to be worn by humans in hazardous conditions. And let’s not forget about Spot – a 160 pound robot that moves like a dog with a sensor head that lets it navigate and negotiate rough terrain.
Consider the business applications of robotic technology.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Bring up Boston Dynamics YouTube page with videos and show robots in action: https://www.youtube.com/user/BostonDynamics
- Show Boston Dynamics Web site: http://www.bostondynamics.com/index.html
- Divide students into teams and have team examine a different robot.
- What are commercial and business applications for each robot?
- What companies might buy robots (beyond the military)?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a business-to-business marketing campaign for robots.
Source: Manufacturing Business Technology, Boston Dynamics