Watch a Boston Dynamics robot herd sheep in New Zealand

Robotics company Rocos shows how Spot might advance precision agriculture.


To prove just how useful Spot, Boston Dynamics’ four-legged robot dog, can be, the New Zealand-based robotics company Rocos shared a video of Spot herding sheep across grassy pastures. This is the kind of work Rocos hopes to do as part of a partnership, announced today, with Boston Dynamics. Rocos plans to develop a system that will remotely manage Spot and automate fleets so that they can function independently.

In addition to herding sheep, Spot robots might also harvest crops, inspect yields or create real-time maps, Rocos says. These capabilities are all possible now that Spot is more nimble, can handle rugged terrain and can carry infrared and LiDAR cameras. Rocos hopes to use its tech to remotely design and edit missions and collect sensor data. In other words, users might be able to herd sheep in New Zealand from anywhere in the world.

Spot is constantly learning new tricks. Mostly recently, Boston Dynamics trained the four-legged robot to help triage COVID-19 patients. We’ve also seen Spot navigate an office, hold the door for a friend, pull a rickshaw and haul a box truck. While we haven’t seen it ourselves, police in Massachusetts are reportedly testing Spot as a "mobile remote observation device.”