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Robot dog equipped with a sniper rifle unveiled

By T.K. Randall
October 23, 2021 · Comment icon 10 comments

Could this be a glimpse of things to come ? Image Credit: Ghost Robotics
A robotics firm with a history of building dog-like robots has now produced one with a large gun on its back.
The risks of giving autonomy to so-called 'killer machines' have been highlighted time and again over the years in movies such as 'The Terminator' and 'The Matrix', leading to concerns over what might happen if firms actually did start to develop autonomous weapon systems in the real world.

While such a future is still some distance away, the recent reveal of a sophisticated new robotic platform equipped with a powerful sniper rifle has put a lot of people on edge.

Developed by Ghost Robotics of Philadelphia, the new robot - which has four legs - is the latest iteration of its 'Vision' series of robots which are currently being trialled as perimeter security units by the United States Air Force.

The new gun-totting variant was revealed this week at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army in Washington DC where it immediately attracted a lot of attention.
Capable of crossing even the roughest terrain with little to no human intervention, the unnerving device is equipped with a 6.5mm sniper rifle as well as both day and night cameras.

Once deployed, it has an effective range of around 1,200 meters.

Keen to dispel concerns, Ghost Robotics CEO Jiren Parikh has emphasized that the sniper rifle on its back is not autonomous and requires a human operator to fire.

Even so, it's not difficult to imagine where a design like this could lead a few years from now.

Source: New Scientist | Comments (10)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by godnodog 2 years ago
These civilian companies are just making themselves a legit target in case of conflict.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
I have no clue why anyone would be horrified at what 6.5mm Sniper Rifle can do, sounds like a great firearm to me. One thing is for certain, with that setup you can certainly reach out and touch someone from enough distance they would not even know you were there. There are two things that make a great Sniper Rifle, first being able to accurately hit targets at 1200 meters for an effective range and most importantly being able to do so without giving your positions away.  I love that dog, they would be great weapons for any kind of situation!
Comment icon #3 Posted by jethrofloyd 2 years ago
I hope this is not a next level, after those robots in Singapore who are patrolling a streets for 'anti-social behaviour'. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by pallidin 2 years ago
Well, that robot "sniper dog" might work, but it's so easily spotted. Just it's high profile and constant electronic signature would give it away. If you're interested, YouTube has some great videos on actual human U.S. Navy Seal sniper training.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
Being easily spotted is not a problem at all, these weapons would be great for fixed positions in mountainous or wooded terrain where they can cover obvious avenues of approach and where they can be camouflaged. They would also be fantastic for urban warfare in high risk areas, all in all a weapons platform like this can save the lives of many Soldiers. I wonder how much they cost they would also be great for a home Defense Weapons!
Comment icon #6 Posted by DarkHunter 2 years ago
Except any form of remote controlled firearm, including robot controlled guns, fall under the legal catagory of traps, if used against humans, and are illegal in every state.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
I never said it was legal, actually I wasn't serious in the first place. I can see the applications a Weapons platform like this would have for our military and I can also see the lives it could certainly save by using the Dog in place of soldiers in many situations. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by DarkHunter 2 years ago
As a weapon platform it has an insane amount of applications.  So many weapon systems could be used instead of a sniper rifle with various degrees of modification, a machine guns, anti-tank weapons, and manpads could all be put on a similar drone easily.  Larger drones could carry cannons, mortars, anti-air missiles. Drones wont replace manned systems anytime soon and a pure drone force would have issues they are still a useful weapon system. On the home defense line of thinking, the drone mentioned could be effective at helping to control feral hog populations.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Manwon Lender 2 years ago
I agree with everything your saying here completely, where I see their use saving lives is in Urban Combat situations where Our soldiers would have clear large urban population centers like they had to do in Iraq. These devices could be used in over watch positions or even to clear certain kinds of structures. Like you said over all the applications are endless and as the dogs mobility is improved for instance with drones this Weapons platform will only become a more valuable asset. 
Comment icon #10 Posted by joc 2 years ago
I have been saying they were going to weaponize these things since the first time I saw them.  Long time ago.  Imagine: In a world where on a combat field far away, stealth 'dogs' armed to the hilt bring a devastating response to The Enemy.     Revelations 13:4 They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against it?”

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