Digital Realty Trust: Anybotics Mechanical Dogs Installed in a Swiss Data Center by Digital Realty

Mar 13, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

At a data center in Switzerland, Digital Realty has installed a robotic dog to do routine inspections. Anybotics has detailed how Digital Realty has utilized its Anymal robot dog for data center checks for over a year in a published case study. Anymal is a quadruped robot that resembles Boston Dynamics' Spot in appearance. Anybotics claimed to have been executing inspection missions at the Digital Realty facility in Zurich "every day since July 2022," regularly checking and measuring various HVAC systems. The machine, according to the company, has been routinely carrying out nine inspection missions each day that is scheduled using the Anymal API. During these two-hour missions, the machine monitors up to 70 elements and gathers data using its optical, thermal, and auditory sensors. The robot will proceed to a base station to recharge after finishing a mission cycle. 

Anymal sends an alarm message to operators so they may make manual adjustments if wires overheat, pumps shake excessively, or strange frequency patterns are seen, the company said. The machine can function in low-light conditions and during night shifts, thanks to inbuilt LEDs and LiDAR. Not just Digital is looking at using four-legged robots in data centers. Utah-based Novva has introduced Boston Dynamics Spot robots at its main campus, and the company claimed it would introduce more in the future. The company has also used drones for security and is considering letting microdrones wander data centers for inspection. 

Two Spot machines were also previously used by Mexican operator Kio for data center operations, and GlobalFoundries installed Spot at a chip manufacturing facility in Vermont for monitoring. At its Oracle Labs location in Chicago, Illinois, Oracle is testing Spot in a data center. Quadruped robot manufacturers include Xiaomi, Weilan, & Unitree in China as well as Ghost Robotics in the US, in addition to Anybotics and Boston Dynamics.