Automotive News

Ford Has Robot Dogs Fetching Photos

You might hear, good boy, no, bad dog, or hey, fetch that transmission, as two new robot dogs roam the floors around the Ford factory. These robot dogs play a significant role in helping prevent tedious work for humans when designing production floors. 

Ford has two new robot dogs 

Ford named their new robot dogs Fluffy and Spot, and they could be the cutest employees of the month. Despite being quadruped robodogs designed to work, they can still sit and shake their paws if they manage to get a break. Ford also set them up with doggy beds and bones, making them seem pretty darn cute instead of futuristic and terrifying. 

A robot dog recharging in it's bed at the Ford plant
Robot dog taking a nap | Ford

The two Boston Dynamic pups are being used to scan and create 3D images of the Van Dyke transmission plant in Michigan as a sort of test. If all goes well, Ford will use the scans to redesign the layout to prepare for new production projects. 

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Usually, this task takes about $300k when people are sent in with cameras to complete this project. However, leasing these robot dogs for $7kk is an easy way to hopefully save time and money. 

Fluffy and Spot can crouch, climb stairs, fit in tight corners, and walk on uneven terrain to capture the plant’s 360 views without getting too tired. However, they only can go for about two hours before needing a recharge. 

Currently, a wrangler using a tablet follows the robo pups as they roam with five cameras attached to their bodies. The tablet can be used to control their movements and display their views for the human. However, the dogs can explore the space remotely too. 

This should be a more efficient way to generate a digital version of the factory floor. We know that the dogs are currently being leased, so will Ford miss their robot best friends when the job is done? Also, what is Ford building? 

Are the robot dogs surveying for the Ford Maverick? 

Ford is introducing a variety of new vehicles, including the Ford Maverick. While rumors are the primary source of information, Ford is building a new vehicle in Michigan that has been hidden by white sheets. Also, a tailgate with ‘Maverick’ stamped on it has surfaced. 

Ford suggests that the Ford Maverick could make its debut in 2021 to go on sale for 2022. Information also suggests that Ford would create 100,000 ford Maverick units during its first year. This would be similar to how the new, midsize Ford Ranger had over 89k units produced in 2019. 

Is the Ford Maverick a good truck? 

It’s way too early to answer this question. The Ford Maverick will most likely have a unibody frame and could share a chassis with the Ford Fiesta or Courier. Also, it may share parts with the Ford Transit. 

Just like the Maverick, the Courier used to be a car. Then the Courier name was used for compact trucks until 2010. Now both of these names could be revived. Also, the Maverick is expected to be available in all-wheel-drive instead of 4×4. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that provides 162 horsepower also sounds underwhelming.