‘Spot’ the remote-controlled robot dog deployed into Christ Church Cathedral

14 July 2021Media ReleaseNews

A mission to obtain important dimensional data from inside Christ Church Cathedral has been successfully carried out, using a remote-controlled robot dog called ‘Spot.’


Spot was deployed into the Cathedral via the North Transept and obtained laser scans of interior areas not previously accessible. The dimensional data captured during the mission can be used to produce millimetre accurate models of the structure and damage caused by the devastating Christchurch earthquakes.


At present, the Cathedral is too dangerous to enter and is being stabilised to make the building safe for the strengthening and reinstatement phases of the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project.


The deployment was the first time the Spot technology has been used in New Zealand on this kind of mission. It was a collaboration between Warren and Mahoney Architects (lead designer on the project), Christ Church Reinstatement Ltd (CCRL), Naylor Love (consulting contractor) and Aware Group, who own Spot in New Zealand.


Before entering the Cathedral, Spot was fitted with an extra 360 degree camera for additional data capture. Aware Group, 3D printed a custom mount designed to carry Warren and Mahoney’s laser point cloud scanner, which fires out 360,000 laser scan setpoints per second and captures high resolution 360-degree images.


A short video of Spot and his mission can be viewed below.


CCRL would like to thank Warren and Mahoney and Aware group for donating their equipment, expertise and time on the mission.


You can also watch this story on Seven Sharp.

About Spot


Spot was developed by Boston Dynamics, recently acquired by Hyundai.


Spot is an intuitive quadruped robot – based on a dog – that climbs stairs, moves around objects and traverses rough terrain with ease. It also has multiple built in cameras for spatial awareness.


It was designed to inspect dangerous, inaccessible, remote environments and allow for additional payloads for tasks such as data capture.


In New Zealand, Spot is owned by Hamilton-based Aware Group; focused on using AI and emerging technologies to support customers in areas like Health and Safety and quality control.