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Spot, the four-legged agile robot proved to be a highland hit, joining both colleagues and royalty at the Mey Games in John O’Groats last Saturday. 

Createc, a UK-based robotics, sensing and radiation detection consultancy, joined forces with Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) to attend the day of cultural celebration and traditional Highland dancing after successfully completing essential work with Spot at the DSRL site.  

Dounreay’s mission is the safe and secure clean-up of the Dounreay nuclear site. Spot, the mobile robot by Boston Dynamics, is playing a crucial part in current work undertaken at Dounreay, as part of a twelve-month agreement with Createc to embed new robotic ways of working on the site. In a recent remote deployment, which involved radiation measurement and laser scanning in a restricted area, Spot successfully gathered crucial data, ultimately protecting colleagues from a harmful environment.    

“Spot is actively becoming a valuable tool at Dounreay, demonstrating the site’s commitment to the safety and well-being of the workforce,” said Ben Chaudhri, Robotics Service Lead at Createc who is supporting the adoption of the robots. “It felt only natural to go beyond our work on-site to join our Dounreay colleagues in showing it to the wider community at this year’s Mey games” 

The Mey Highland games, supported by sponsors Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Dounreay, is held annually and is regularly attended by members of the Royal family. 

Originating as a tribute to the Queen Mother, the Mey games have flourished for over 50 years, uniting communities near John o’ Groats and Wick. This year, the Games welcomed His Majesty the King who has been staying at the Castle of Mey. The spotlight shone on Spot as the community gathered to catch a glimpse of the versatile robot performing a traditional Highland dance to the sound of bagpipes, played by Gordon Tait, Innovation Manager at Dounreay. 

“It’s really important that we engage with the wider community and share the work we’re doing with Spot. By demonstrating the pioneering use of mobile robots at Dounreay, we’re not only highlighting an innovation that has the potential to revolutionise the world, but we’re also introducing it to an audience that may not have experienced it before. We want to demonstrate the exciting technologies being used in Nuclear and inspire the next generation locally.” said Chaudhri.  

Spot plays a vital role in enhancing safety and productivity at sites like Dounreay, working in harmony with employees both on and off-site. Members of the public attending the event enjoyed learning about this game-changing technology.  

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