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Robotics company attaches a gun to a robot which may become a US Army soldier

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A quadruped robot armed with a sniper rifle. Picture: Ghost Robotics

The US Air Force is currently testing an unarmed version of these robots for use as perimeter security at the Tyndall Air Force Base.

South Africans have recently been introduced to a robot dog which may be used for research by an academic institution. A similar dog has emerged online carrying a rifle.

The US military may be getting such a quadruped robot armed with a sniper rifle. The robot, developed by Ghost Robotics of Philadelphia, is a new version of its Vision series of legged robots. The US Air Force is currently testing an unarmed version of these robots for use as perimeter security at the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, according to the New Scientist.

A similar machine was shown off for the first time at the Association of the United States Army’s 2021 annual conference earlier this week. The conferences bills itself as a “landpower exposition and professional development forum” held in Washington DC, from October 11 – 13.

Ghost Robotics has made robot dogs for the military, and it displayed this deadly model at the conference. A company called Sword International built the special-purpose unmanned rifle (or SPUR) module. According to The Verge, it has a thermal camera for night-time operation, an effective range of 1.2km and a 30x optical zoom.

It’s unclear how autonomous a SPUR-equipped Q-UGV (Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicle) will be in the field. It remains to be seen whether a human operator will guide the robot to an otherwise hard-to-reach position and manually aim and take shots (which seems more likely), or if the robot will handle entirely things by itself. Either way, it’s an unsettling prospect, and that’s before we get to the possibility of enemy hackers taking control of these machines.

Ghost Robotics also tweeted about a Q-UGV with a different kind of payload: a Lockheed Martin drone and a Digital Force Technologies recon sensor. Sniper robot dogs. Flying robot spy dogs.

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