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Boston Dynamics Spot & Teledyne FLIR MUVE C360 Success Story

Boston Dynamics agile mobile robot Spot recently detected a plume of combustible gas emitted from a pinhole leak on an autonomous walk at a midstream gas plant. The ability to detect an anomaly that is so small yet carries risk of explosive damage is invaluable to facility safety.

The midstream plant deployed Boston Dynamics’ Spot for a series of autonomous applications, such as inspecting for anomalies and performing gauge readings. Mounted on Spot was the Teledyne FLIR MUVE C360™, an air gas monitor with readouts to indicate up to 8 gas concentrations in parts per million or percentages. With the integrated FLIR MUVE C360 API, users can set an LEL (lower explosive limit) threshold that triggers Spot to autonomously shut down, mitigating ignition risks in hazardous environments.

Spot was on a fully autonomous mission inside the midstream plant, making rounds on its standard course and collecting readings on compressor stations inside the facility. During the robot’s mission, the Teledyne FLIR MUVE C360 mounted on Spot detected a plume of combustible gas and Spot immediately shut down as part of its standard safety procedure. The safety team moved in to identify a pinhole leak on a nearby asset.

Plant operators were thrilled to see the efficiency and precision of the Teledyne FLIR MUVE 360 when paired with Spot and what this means for their facility’s safety.

“Spot and the FLIR MUVE C360 integration is an autonomous solution that can save human lives,” says Jason Acerbi, MFE Chief Technology Officer. “Our future integration efforts will likely include additional communication methods, such as a text message or email including a localization reference on where the robot has shut down.”


“This is a perfect example of using unmanned chemical sensing to reduce risk for oil and gas, as well as other industrial manufactures,” said Craig Cume, product management director for Detection at Teledyne FLIR. “The MUVE C360 sensor on board Spot is making reliable and effective remote gas detection a reality.”


“Spot has been serving the Oil & Gas industry for years, and is a great example of the many ways in which our unique and extensible platform is adding value to customers,” said Chris McCasky, Boston Dynamics Oil & Gas Commercial Lead. “By leveraging the latest and most advanced automated inspection technologies available, our customers can keep their facilities running safely and efficiently.”

For this inspection, Spot was equipped with an array of sensors, including an Enhanced Autonomy Payload System (EAP); which is one of Spot’s core payloads with a LiDAR assembly to enhance the robot’s autonomous navigation capabilities, an LTE modem for constant communication, Spot CAM+IR and the Teledyne FLIR C360 MUVE sensor for gas detection and analysis

The Midstream Plant Auto Walk

Spot’s docking station provides mission start and end points, as well as a central charging point, allowing Spot to autonomously charge and move on to the next mission, be it thermography, gauge reading, or an entirely different mission of inspection waypoints. The docking station ensures the robot can recharge when needed, allowing it to navigate throughout the entire 40-acre facility.

Operators Take Control With Scout

Operators can monitor or navigate Spot at any point using the Scout Teleoperation Software. Boston Dynamics designed the Scout software specifically for the quadruped robot, allowing equipment owners to monitor Spot units in real time from a remote location. The Scout software navigation system allows operators to control Spot’s movement or gimbals with simple point-and-click or click-and-drag methods.

(Teledyne FLIR MUVE C360 Demonstration at 4C Conference)
Could Spot & MUVE C360 Be Your Solution?

Don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Spot & MUVE C360 experts at MFE Inspection Solutions. We look forward to being a part of your solution to any inspection challenges you may have and take pride in protecting lives from hazardous situations. Our team can design a custom proof of concept and answer any question you may have about our autonomous solutions.