May 22 (UPI) -- A U.S. engineering firm and a New Zealand software company are testing out a robotic dog's abilities to emulate its biological counterparts with a traditional canine task: herding sheep.
Robotics company Rocos is using Spot, a robotic dog developed by Massachusetts-based Boston Dynamics, to herd sheep on New Zealand farms.
Rocos said its software allows Spot to be controlled remotely as it herds the sheep through sometimes-difficult and mountainous terrain.
"The age of autonomous robots is upon us," Rocos chief executive David Inggs said. "Our customers are augmenting their human workforces to automate physical processes that are often dull, dirty, or dangerous. Organizations can now design, schedule and manage inspection missions remotely."
Boston Dynamics said its partnership with Rocos is allowing it to explore numerous possible applications for its robots.
"We're excited to see Rocos enabling key features for Spot and our industry partners. The industry applications we're exploring with Rocos will see this important technology create new efficiencies for businesses around the world," said Michael Perry, Boston Dynamics' vice president of business development.