The military security company Ghost Robotics has built a mechanical dog that can carry a remote-controlled rifle on its back.
The Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle (SPUR) consists of a 6.5 mm Creedmore rifle from the weapons manufacturer SWORD International in combination with the unmanned four-legged ground vehicle from the robotics company.
First seen at the US Army’s annual meeting in Washington DC, The Drive reports, this is apparently one of the first systems of its kind with an attached weapon.
It is unclear how much ammunition the weapon contains and how difficult it could be to reload. Ghost Robotics says the robot dog can be ordered to chamber the first round from an unloaded state, empty the chamber, and “secure” the weapon (if the weapon is not cocked and there is no ammunition). It can fire bullets up to 1200 meters away.
The weapon used in this arrangement is reportedly not widely used by the military or other forces around the world, but the U.S. Special Operations Command is apparently in the process of acquiring light machine guns and similar rifles like this one.
The report says it is likely that the robot dog’s human operators could fire it off using an Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK), an app that can be installed on tablets and access the video cameras on board.
It is also possible that it could use artificial intelligence to identify and “bind” potential targets, although ultimately a human operator may be responsible for pulling the trigger. Because they’re smaller and robotic, the mechanical canines could fit in places humans can’t.
The effects of such a machine are not yet known, but holistically, many academics and journalists have written that warfare changes with increasing gamification – such as Xbox controllers that Boeing’s High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator used in a test for the US -Military controlled – or with greater distance between the person on the battlefield and his target.
In February 2021, an exhibit from MSCHF, the internet collective also responsible for providing horoscope-based stock advice and coaches that contain holy water, pinned a paintball gun on the Boston Dynamics robot dog spot.
It went on to say that these machines “are definitely being used by the police and military to murder people. And what do the police authorities have? Strong unions! Spot is employee of the month. You never have to unite a robot – but a robot can unite you. “
The independent one reached out to Ghost Robotics for more information and comments on such comparisons.