Robot dog takes over vehicle inspection

Such a good boy

The new colleague at Mainz freight station is a little unusual, to say the least: he doesn't talk much, but he has four legs and prefers to do the routine jobs. We are talking about the walking robot "Spot", which is currently undergoing a test run for possible deployment at DB Cargo: Equipped with high-resolution cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence, the dog-like robot can scrutinise goods trains to detect damage.

A colleague for routine jobs 

The 84-centimetre-high "Spot" is particularly well suited for use in places that are difficult for humans to reach or unsafe, such as pit work in train maintenance. Here, it reduces walking distances by half and can relieve employees during physically strenuous inspections. This gives them more time for important repair work. At the same time, costs are reduced and the shortage of skilled labour is mitigated. If "Spot" proves its worth, it could take over these tasks at four DB Cargo depots in the future.

Roboterhund 02 Deutsche Bahn Ag Stefan Wildhirt

Dog-ital tools for greater efficiency

Train maintenance is crucial to the success of the transport transition and climate-friendly rail freight transport. After all, goods will only find their way onto the rails in the long term if there are enough functioning vehicles available. Digital tools ensure effective workflows and take over time-consuming routine checks for employees. DB Cargo is already using several tools such as the automated wheelset measuring system, camera bridges with artificial intelligence and underfloor robots. The "Spot" walking robot is now to be added. During the six-week test in Mainz, it will be trialled in two applications: automatic wagon localisation via radio and the visual inspection of wheelset shafts from the maintenance pit.

Roboterhund 03 Deutsche Bahn Ag Stefan Wildhirt