gun, robots, digital force technologies, ghost robotics, drone, lockheed martin, rifle, gear, news, sword defense, sword international, robot dog, q-ugv

Sword International

, the company most commonly associated with robot dogs, prohibits the weaponization of its Spot devices. That's not the case for all robot dog manufacturers, however. One of them, , showed off a version of its Q-UGV device that many will have been dreading. It's a robot dog with a gun attached to it.

Ghost Robotics has made robot dogs for the military, and it displayed this deadly model at the Association of the United States Army’s 2021 annual conference in Washington DC this week. A company called Sword International built the "special purpose unmanned rifle" (or SPUR) module. According to , it has a thermal camera for nighttime operation, an effective range of 1.2km (just under three quarters of a mile) and a 30x optical zoom.

"Due to its highly capable sensors the SPUR can operate in a magnitude of conditions, both day and night," . "The Sword Defense Systems SPUR is the future of unmanned weapon systems, and that future is now."

It's unclear how autonomous a SPUR-equipped Q-UGV will be in the field, as notes. 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.

As if a robot dog with a gun attached wasn't dystopian enough, Ghost Robotics 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. The future's looking just peachy, isn't it?

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