Clearpath teams up with Boston Dynamics to offer ROS-enabled Spot to Robotics Researchers

Over the past 10 years, Clearpath has been enabling robotics research and development with our rugged, fully customizable and ROS-supported wheeled robots. Today we are excited to extend this same support to Boston Dynamics’ Spot. Through a partnership with Boston Dynamics, academic and corporate researchers can now get ROS-enabled, fully-integrated Spot robots from Clearpath to use in their robotics research and application development.

Spot is a nimble, four-legged robot designed to be rugged and customized. It weighs in at about 32.5 kg, goes about 1.6 m/s and has a payload capacity of 14 kg. It’s particularly well suited for unstructured environments and is fully capable of climbing stairs and traversing rough terrain – where some wheeled robots may not be able to reach. Spot can be used in a wide variety of research and industrial applications including construction progression monitoring, remote survey and monitoring remote environments, and we’re excited to see all the new applications the research community has for it.

Onboard camera point cloud visualization in Rviz.

With the addition of our ROS Package for Spot, researchers can now take full advantage of ROS capabilities out-of-the-box, and leverage widely available open-source libraries, tools and the greater ROS community to fast-track their robotics development. With our ROS driver, users can easily unlock the ability to control the robot and access all the onboard sensing data streams, including odometry, images and point clouds from each of the five on-board stereo cameras, plus data from any additional payloads they choose to integrate.

The Spot ROS package from Clearpath includes a ROS Driver, dedicated computer running Ubuntu 18.04 and ROS Melodic, power and communication interfaces through a GXP unit, as well as a flexible payload mounting plate that allows users to more easily integrate a wide variety of third-party ROS-supported sensors and components. Users can fully customize Spot for their specific application by integrating IMUs, additional cameras, radar, lidars, manipulators and custom payloads.

The Spot ROS package also comes with step-by-step tutorials and setup documentation to ensure users get started quickly with their research and development. As with our wheeled robots, our team of experienced integrators and ROS experts are available to help researchers choose the best payload configuration for their specific research.

Click here to learn more or request a quote for a ROS-enabled Spot. To download the ROS driver for Spot, click here.

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