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Robot dog from Boston Dynamics goes on patrol at Norwegian oil rig

A Spot model robot on display in Las Vegas last year.MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Meet Spot, the first robot to get its own employee number at Norwegian oil producer Aker BP ASA.

Developed by Boston Dynamics Inc., the robot is set to start patrolling Aker BP’s oil and gas production vessel at the Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea this year, testing its ability to run inspections, detect hydrocarbon leaks, gather data and generate reports.

The upshot for Aker BP, which is seeking to be a front-runner in the digitalization of the oil industry, is to make offshore operations safer and more efficient, the company said as it presented the robot at its capital markets day in Oslo on Tuesday. Aker BP will run the tests with Cognite AS, the software venture controlled by the oil company’s main owner, Aker ASA.


“These things never get tired, they have a larger ability to adapt and to gather data,” Kjetel Digre, Aker BP’s senior vice president for operations, said in an interview. The company’s Chief Executive Officer Karl Johnny Hersvik said he was “pretty sure” Spot wouldn’t be the last robot to get an employee number.

Guided by a remote, Spot walked up to Hersvik on stage at the company’s event at an Oslo hotel on Tuesday. When asked whether it had detected any people in the audience that weren’t supposed to be there, the dog nodded, though it wasn’t clear who that was.

This sleek, faceless robot from Boston Dynamics is frankly terrifying
It seems like each time Boston Dynamics releases a video of one of its very life-like machines, we somehow get closer to living in a world akin to the one featured in the “Terminator” films (or so the jokes go).