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people and community

spot the robotic dog becomes a community’s best friend

2 min | may 10, 2023

A student engages with Spot the Dog during a recent Chevron-sponsored event in Manhattan Beach, California.

Residents of a Southern California city recently met their new, four-legged neighbor, prompting tears of joy from at least one man.

Spot, a robotic dog used at Chevron’s El Segundo refinery, was taken for walkies this month to participate in Manhattan Beach Middle School Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo. The futuristic canine demonstrated how Chevron is using technology to enhance safety, environmental stewardship and efficient operations at the refinery.

“When the kids and families rushed up to him, I literally felt tears of joy,” recalled Jeff Wilson, a corporate affairs manager.

“The kids were so enthralled. They were dancing with it and petting it,” he said. “It was an incredible thing to witness.”

top dog

With a camera for a head, Spot can record his work in real time while keeping a log of observations for future use.

Like real dogs, he has good detective skills and can identify emission leaks while patrolling the refinery. He also conducts routine inspections of equipment and alerts employees when something needs human attention.

Likewise, our employees can bark orders at him from remote locations, instructing him to open a door or zoom the camera view into a particular area.

neighborhood watch

Chevron’s El Segundo refinery shares a fence line with three neighboring cities and is within a 1.5-square-mile radius of 50,000 residents.

We’ve strived to be a good neighbor to these local communities for more than a century. As we continue operating there, we’re demonstrating how technology helps us work more safely and reliably.

“We brought Spot along to the STEM event because it is new, cutting-edge technology that the public wouldn’t normally have access to,” said Joshua Hofstatter, digital and technology innovation manager. “It shows Chevron’s commitment to adopting these technologies and not being stuck in our ways.”

a man and his robot

Spot is one of a litter of robots that have been put to work at Chevron’s U.S. locations. However, he is the favorite of Hofstatter, who has been eager to get his paws on Spot since the technology became commercially available.

“He has exceeded my expectations,” Hofstatter said. “The thing is super cool. I’m enthralled with Spot and want to do more with him.”

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