US Army tests “dog” robots equipped with assault rifles

A new step has been taken in the use of drones and other robots. Quadruped robot has been fitted with an assault rifle capable of being lethal even at long range

Robotics has seen many advances in recent years. Companies like Boston Dynamics are able to produce functional, stable and efficient robots. When we see the performance of Atlas, able to play off an obstacle course, while finishing it with a perfectly executed backflip, it is not surprising to see the military take an interest in it.

SPUR
SPUR equipped with its 6.5 mm caliber weapon. Credit: Twitter / @Ghost_Robotics

Recently, the French army tested the Boston Dynamics quadruped robot in the field. After a short period of adaptation, the soldiers present were able to realize the possibilities brought by a machine in terms of tactical advantage and personnel safety. A reason which also pushes the British to be interested in the thing. According to their chief of staff, Her Majesty’s army could include 25% of robots by 2030.

Arm a remote-controlled robot

Taking the concept of “robot dog” a step further, Ghost Robotics and SWORD International have collaborated to produce SPUR (Special Purpose Unmanned Riffle), a four-legged robot carrying an assault rifle on his back and handed the test to the 325th Security Force Squadron.

This on-board rifle offers a caliber of 6.5 mm halfway between the usual NATO ammunition of 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm. This intermediate caliber, although not widely used at the moment, offers good performance and a range greater than 7.62 mm with precise range of up to 1200 meters.

Coupled to the very high stability of a four-legged robot, able to instantly adjust its balance (more than 2000 operations per second and per leg are performed for this purpose), this results in a tool capable of squeezing into inaccessible places and ensuring precise shots at long distances.

A remote-controlled unit, for the moment

For the moment, sighting, shooting or more simply movement are carried out by soldiers thanks to tablets. Regarding the operation of the shot, the designers did not give much information.

We know that the robot is able to chamber the first ammunition and secure the weapon once the maneuvers are finished. However, we have no information on the carrying capacity or the reloading methods.

One thing is certain, the use of the robot is set to evolve. The US military is already talking about centralize the control of these robots from the headquarters using virtual reality headsets. And that is only one step. Indeed, there are already systems capable of acquiring and locking a target for weapons of this caliber and this could quickly be added to the robot.

With the development of artificial intelligence and the autonomy of drones, it would even be possible in the short term that the robot could pursue a target in order to eliminate it. On the one hand, this kind of initiative makes it possible to preserve soldiers in very risky situations, but isn’t entrusting the reins of a lethal weapon to an artificial intelligence risky?

Source : thedrive

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