Hyundai After Buying Boston Dynamics Starts Using Robots As Guards

James J. Davis
3 min readSep 20, 2021
Factory Safety Service Robot on patrol at the Kia plant

Factory Safety Service Robot is capable of identifying people, measuring room temperature, and recognizing dangerous situations.

Boston Dynamics and Hyundai unveiled a new four-legged Factory Safety Service Robot that patrols a Kia auto plant in South Korea. It is designed to ensure safety at industrial facilities, Hyundai said on its blog.

At the heart of Service Robot is a four-legged Spot robot with artificial intelligence, autonomous navigation, remote control technology, and an artificial intelligence system. Using a built-in thermal imager and 3D lidar, it can detect people, monitor temperature rise to dangerous levels and fire risks, and determine whether a door is closed or not.

Service Robot is our first joint project with Boston Dynamics. This android is capable of detecting risks and keeping employees safe at industrial sites. As part of our partnership, we will also continue to create intelligent services that help recognize hazards in industrial facilities and maintain a safe work environment.

Thanks to Service Robot, plant personnel can remotely observe what’s going on in the industrial areas. If necessary, managers can switch to manual control of the robot to closely inspect the desired areas of the plant. Other features of the robot include the ability to penetrate narrow spaces and detect blind spots that are difficult to see with the human eye.

Hyundai specialists are now investigating the effectiveness and capabilities of Service Robot in a large factory environment. If the experiment is successful, other Boston Dynamics robots will appear in the car company’s plants.

Hyundai officially announced its purchase of Boston Dynamics in December 2020. Then the company was valued at $1.1 billion. Six months later, the company closed the deal and acquired an 80 percent stake in the robot manufacturer. Hyundai plans to integrate robots into component manufacturing, construction, and automation processes.