Meet Swoop Dogg: Miami’s College of Engineering and Computing’s dog-like robot
Designed by Boston Dynamics, the robot came to Miami as SPOT, but students decided it needed a Miami name. A contest was held with more than 100 name suggestions and nearly 400 votes.
Meet Swoop Dogg — the newest addition to Miami University’s College of Engineering and Computing. Battery power is all Swoop Dog needs to produce high-energy smiles in everyone.
Swoop Dogg is an agile mobile robot that looks like a dog. It was acquired by Miami's Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (MME) through the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s RAPIDS grant program for research and learning purposes.
Designed by Boston Dynamics, the robot came to Miami as SPOT, named by its creators, but students decided it needed a Miami name. A contest was held with more than 100 name suggestions and nearly 400 votes.
The mobile robot platform navigates terrain, allowing users to automate routine inspection tasks and data capture safely, accurately, and frequently. Numerous industries are incorporating the use of mobile robots, such as construction, manufacturing, utilities, mining, public safety, oil and gas, research, health, and entertainment.
Swoop Dogg can also be used to expand the capabilities of healthcare workers, according to Amit Shukla, chair and professor of MME. This technology is intended to provide assistance to people who may have difficulty getting around and calling for help by providing a telepresence. Once the software is programmed, the robot can be sent to check on the person calling it from their iPhone or iPad much quicker than a human may be able to provide for them.
This robot can walk up and down stairs and maneuver in outdoor settings. Don’t be surprised if you see Swoop Dogg walking around campus. Yes, Swoop Dogg can also dance.
“With this platform, we can show prospective students, parents, and employers what engineering is all about,” Shukla said.
Talawanda Middle School students were among the first to meet Swoop Dogg during a visit. Joanna Hohn, assistant director of the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC’s) K-12 Outreach Program, said the students came up with all sorts of future ideas and fun activities for Swoop Dogg.
Aiden, a middle school student visiting CEC, said he liked the headless yellow dog that was controlled by what looked similar to a Nintendo Switch game console.
“I think the dog robot should have a reactive head on it. They need to make the robot bark and growl. They should also have a system where the dog goes to a water bowl and drinks fuel,” he said.
Paul, another middle school student, said his favorite part was controlling the robot dog. “It was amazing! It is incredible how much technology has advanced,” he said. “Spot (Swoop Dogg) could do push-ups, dance, climb stairs, flatten to the ground, even go down stairs backward!”