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Killer bot? Terrible robot dog armed with 6.5mm sniper rifle unveiled at US Army trade show

The design of a robotic dog equipped with a 6.5mm Credmoor sniper rifle has been unveiled at the US Army trade show that can accurately hit targets from 3,940 feet away.

The ‘Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle’ (SPUR) is the brainchild of Philadelphia-based ghost robotics and weapons manufacturer SWORD International of Sparks. Nevada.

Placed atop one of Ghost Robotics’ existing ‘quadruple unmanned ground vehicle’ designs, the Spur can be instructed remotely to load, unload and fire its rifle.

The firms have not yet disclosed the exact configuration of the weapon, nor how much ammunition the machine is capable of carrying or its reload rate.

However, tests have shown that the 6.5mm rounds used in the Creedmoor rifle provide an increase in range over the 7.62x51mm cartridges currently used by the US military.

It is also currently unclear how much each robot unit and spur attachment will cost to purchase and maintain.

Building robots with SPUR – while arguably an inevitable development that is no different from other unmanned ground weapons – is still likely to stir up controversy.

In contrast to, for example, competitor Boston Dynamics – known for their Dancing robot dog ‘Spot’ – committed to Never weaponize any of their bots with weapons.

And the prospect of armed robot dogs turning on and killing humans was brought to an uncomfortable life in the 2017 Black Mirror episode “Metalhead.”

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The design of a robotic dog equipped with a 6.5mm Creedmoor sniper rifle (pictured) has been unveiled at the US Army trade show that can accurately hit targets from 3,940 feet away.

Building robots with SPUR - while arguably an inevitable development that is no different from other unmanned weapons - is still likely to stir up controversy.  The prospect of robot dogs turning on and killing humans was brought to an uneasy life in a 2017 Black Mirror episode

Building robots with SPUR – while arguably an inevitable development that is no different from other unmanned weapons – is still likely to stir up controversy. The prospect of robot dogs turning on and killing humans was brought to an uneasy life in a 2017 Black Mirror episode

Spot is a ‘Pacific’

While Spur is working hard to join the battlefield, Ghost Robotics’ better rival, Boston Dynamics, has said they condemn any application of their Spot Dogs that promotes ‘violence, harm or intimidation’. appears to give.

The firm commented in February after New York-based start-up MSCHF (pronounced ‘prank’) fitted a spot machine with a paintball gun and let the public use it. shoot an art gallery.

Still, Boston Dynamics’ doesn’t seem to have the same concern about policing and enforcement applications – with spots already as a pair of remote eyes in dangerous situations and in parks during COVID-19 in Singapore. being used for patrolling.

“Due to its highly capable sensors, the SPUR can operate in both day and night conditions,” the developers announced at the Army trade show.

“SWORD Defense Systems is the future of the SPUR unmanned weapon system – and that future is now,” he said.

One advantage of giving a spur-like four-legged design to a one-armed robot comes from the stability that this quadrupedal arrangement offers.

“When our robots spin and you push them, these forces are calculated at 2,000 counts per second,” said Jiren Parikh, CEO and founder of Ghost Robotics. Battle Field Last year.

Mr Parikh explained that his firm is working to ensure that their robots can continue to operate even if some of their onboard sensors fail.

‘We’re adjusting to make it look like a mammal. Our robot, when you see it climbing stairs or walking or running, we turn off all the sensors,” he said.

‘It’s just the feeling. It is completely blind. We do this because if a warrior or a mining company – if someone is using our robots – [it] Had a better operation 99.99% of the time.’

Similarly, the SPUR module appears to be equipped with its own sighting system at the top to allow operators to aim the rifle at its chosen target.

The 'Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle' (SPUR, pictured) is the brainchild of Philadelphia-based ghost robotics and weapons manufacturer SWORD International of Sparks, Nevada.

The ‘Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle’ (SPUR, pictured) is the brainchild of Philadelphia-based ghost robotics and weapons manufacturer SWORD International of Sparks, Nevada.

Placed atop one of Ghost Robotics' existing 'quadruple unmanned ground vehicle' designs, the Spur can be instructed remotely to load, unload and fire its rifle.

Placed atop one of Ghost Robotics’ existing ‘quadruple unmanned ground vehicle’ designs, the Spur can be instructed remotely to load, unload and fire its rifle.

The US Air Force has reportedly expressed interest in the possibility of remotely operating robotic dogs from central command facilities via an interface similar to the design of commercial virtual reality headsets.

Officers are looking to use the machines for perimeter security, scouting and urban warfare operations – as well as opening up access to locations that may be too small, cramped or dangerous for a human soldier to navigate safely.

“These dogs will be an extra set of eyes and ears when computing large amounts of data at strategic locations throughout Tyndall Air Force Base,” Air Force Major Jordan Criss said in a statement after a test involving the robot last year.

He added: ‘They will be a great addition to our defenders and will allow flexibility in the posting and response of our personnel.’

Ghost Robotics is no stranger to collaborations to explore potential defense and security applications of its bots – and is engaged in partnerships with firms including defense contractor Honeywell and ARES Security Corporation.

The response on Twitter to the unveiling of SPUR-equipped robots was mixed – but with more concern than support.

Kate Paul Dillon wrote on the social media platform, ‘Black Mirror is a warning series, not a blueprint for the future.

Other users said Robot Terminator would make a good ‘doggo’ for the murderous robots from the sci-fi franchise.

Association of the United States Army 2021 Annual Meeting and Exhibition Held from October 11–13 at the Washington Convention Center, Washington DC.

The response on Twitter to the unveiling of SPUR-equipped robots was mixed – but with more concern than support.  Image: some reactions

The response on Twitter to the unveiling of SPUR-equipped robots was mixed – but with more concern than support. Image: some reactions

Kate Paul Dillon wrote on the social media platform, 'Black Mirror is a warning series, not a blueprint for the future.

Kate Paul Dillon wrote on the social media platform, ‘Black Mirror is a warning series, not a blueprint for the future.

Other users said Robot Terminator would make a good 'doggo' for the murderous robots from the sci-fi franchise

Other users said Robot Terminator would make a good ‘doggo’ for the murderous robots from the sci-fi franchise

Boston Dynamics’ Spot

Boston Dynamics first showed off the SpotMini, the most advanced robot dog ever built, in a video posted in November 2017.

The firm best known for its 5 foot 9 (1.7 m) humanoid robot, Atlas, has revealed a new ‘lightweight’ version of its robot Spot Mini.

The robotic canine was shown roaming around a yard, with the promise that more information is ‘coming soon’ from the notoriously secretive firm.

The firm says on its website, ‘SpotMini is a small four-legged robot that fits comfortably in an office or home.

It weighs 25 kg (55 lb), or 30 kg (66 lb) when you include the robotic arm.

The SpotMini is fully electric and can run for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it’s doing, the firm says, adding that the ‘SpotMini is the quietest robot we’ve built.’

The SpotMini was first unveiled in 2016, and a previous version of the Mini version of the Spot with a weird expandable neck is shown helping around the house.

In previous videos from the firm, the robot is seen exiting the firm’s headquarters and into a house.

There, it helps to load the dishwasher and move the can to the trash.

It also encounters a fallen skin of a banana at one point and falls dramatically—but uses its extended neck to push itself back up.

‘The SpotMini is one of the quietest robots we’ve ever made,’ says the firm, because of its electric motor.

‘It has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, solid state gyro (IMU) and proprioception sensors in the limbs.

‘These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation.

‘SpotMini performs some tasks autonomously, but often uses a human for high-level guidance.’

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