US military may get a dog-like robot armed with a sniper rifle

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PR Distribution
Technology 14 October 2021

By David Hambling

quadruped robot with a rifle

A four-legged robot with a firearm displayed astatine a gathering of the Association of the United States Army

Ghost Robotics

The US subject whitethorn beryllium getting a dog-like quadruped robot equipped with a sniper rifle.

The robot, developed by Ghost Robotics of Philadelphia, is simply a caller mentation of its Vision bid of legged robots. The US Air Force is presently investigating an unarmed mentation of these robots for usage arsenic perimeter information astatine the Tyndall Air Force Base successful Florida.

Ghost Robotics displayed the equipped mentation astatine the yearly gathering of the Association of the United States Army held successful Washington DC this week. The robot is fitted with a Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle pod from Sword Defense, with a almighty 6.5mm sniper rifle. This has time and nighttime cameras and an effectual scope of 1200 metres.

Ghost Robotics has been processing quadruped robots since 2015 and has antecedently shown disconnected versions fitted with additions including arms for weaponry disposal and a disruptor, a shotgun-like instrumentality for disabling bombs.

The robots are highly mobile, capable to transverse rugged terrain that mightiness beryllium hard for wheeled and tracked machines, and tin run with a precocious grade of autonomy. For example, the perimeter patrol robots are capable to travel a pre-set route, deviating wherever indispensable to debar obstacles, and alerting a quality relation erstwhile they brushwood thing unexpected specified arsenic a imaginable intruder.

However, Ghost Robotics CEO Jiren Parikh is speedy to disregard immoderate ideas that the sniper firearm is an autonomous limb system.

“It is afloat controlled by a distant operator,” says Parikh. “There is simply a quality controlling the weapon, determination is nary autonomy oregon AI.”

He says that the robot was chosen by customers for its quality to determination successful hard terrain, allowing it to instrumentality up a suitable firing presumption for sniper shots. This applies arsenic outdoors and successful municipality settings where, for example, it tin ascent stairs. Meanwhile the relation tin enactment concealed retired of the enactment of fire.

Quadruped robots, which are capable to determination astir wrong buildings and different quality spaces, are progressively causing disquiet. In April this year, the New York Police Department terminated its Digidog programme for an unarmed quadruped robot, aft protests from critics including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Police usage of akin robots dogs successful Honolulu person been arsenic controversial.

Parikh notes that portion determination were galore different uncrewed tracked and wheeled vehicles with weapons astatine the aforesaid show, his has been singled retired for attention. He suggests that the legged robot triggers an affectional absorption due to the fact that it looks similar an animal, and due to the fact that of decades of subject fabrication movies astir unsafe robots.

Pentagon argumentation is that each robotic weapons should beryllium nether the power of a quality operator. However, the exertion for tiny drones to prime and onslaught targets autonomously has already been developed and may already person been utilized successful Libya.

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