Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The US Military Is Now Testing Robot Dogs In 'Combat' Situations

spot2.JPG
spot.JPG

A mechanical whir. The organic crack of wood being split by metal. The rhythm thud of feet on concrete. A robotic 'head' peers into the room.

"Drop your weapons. You are surrounded."

Not fiction, but a genuine training drill that the US Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and employees of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are carrying out with Spot, a quadruped prototype robot.

Spot is a dog - a 72 kilo robotic dog made by the Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics. Controlled by a radio link from a laptop computer and an Xbox 360 controller from a range of 500 metres, the US military is actively exploring just how they can use robots like Spot in the field. Boston Dynamics has said that the system is so simple, children as young as four are able to control the robot.

Spot

"The Marines have been very receptive to the new technology, embrace it and come up with new ideas we couldn’t even dream up," said Capt. James Pineiro, the branch head for Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. "Spot is great and has exceeded the metrics that we’ve provided. We see it as a great potential for the future dismounted infantry."

By sending Spot into a potential hostile environment, such as an occupied building, the Marines are able to scope out potential hostiles, trigger traps and keep live personnel out harms way. 

But this isn't a finished model - Spot is just a taste of things to come.

"We continue to invest in research and development of robotics and autonomy to find ways to reduce threat to Marines and enhance our capability at the same time," said Pineiro.

Who knows - the next version of Spot might be carrying its own gun.

Take a closer look at Spot below.

Related

robot1.jpg

It's Impossible To Beat This Robot At Rock-Paper-Scissors

darpa2.jpg

The US Military Just Invented A Robotic Insect Helicopter

robot.jpg

Are Robots Really Trying To Take Our Jobs?

pepper.jpg

Man arrested for drunken attack on robot

pluto4.jpg

These new images of Mars, Charon and Pluto are a visual feast

jacques-rougerie-city-of-meriens-designboom-01-818x606-810x599.jpg

The Floating ‘Science City’ Of The Future

Comments

More

Amazon's new Alexa update means it can bring you beer in two hours

"Alexa, we're going to need more booze"

by Matt Tate
21 Mar 2017

This terrifying gadget allows you to make private calls in public

Be like Bane

by Gary Ogden
15 Mar 2017

You'll soon be able to pay for your shopping with your sunglasses

I'm still not happy until I can pay with my underwear

by Gary Ogden
15 Mar 2017

This iPhone case is actually just an entire new Android phone

A phone within a phone

by Gary Ogden
14 Mar 2017

There's a new app for opening bottles because everyone is lazy now

Put that wrist away!

by Gary Ogden
06 Mar 2017

These comments from 2001 about the world's first camera phone are gold

"Take pictures of friendly dogs I see when I walk around""I would use the camera phone to take pictures of my best friend, my dog Benson"

by Gary Ogden
01 Mar 2017

This projector turns anything into a touchscreen

We're living in the future

by Gary Ogden
28 Feb 2017

Everything we know about the new Nokia 3310

The brick is back

by Matt Tate
24 Feb 2017

20 Things You'll Only Understand If You Owned A Nokia 3310

14 Feb 2017

The Nokia 3310 is getting a relaunch (yes, really)

The return of the King

by Gary Ogden
14 Feb 2017