Military

Robot dogs don't look as cute with night-vision sniper rifles on board

Robot dogs don't look as cute ...
Ghost Robotics presented a back-mounted gun attachment by Sword Defense Systems for its Vision 60 robot at the NDIA Future Force Capabilities expo in Georgia
Ghost Robotics presented a back-mounted gun attachment by Sword Defense Systems for its Vision 60 robot at the NDIA Future Force Capabilities expo in Georgia
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Ghost Robotics presented a back-mounted gun attachment by Sword Defense Systems for its Vision 60 robot at the NDIA Future Force Capabilities expo in Georgia
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Ghost Robotics presented a back-mounted gun attachment by Sword Defense Systems for its Vision 60 robot at the NDIA Future Force Capabilities expo in Georgia
There's currently no international law specifically prohibiting autonomous weapons systems
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There's currently no international law specifically prohibiting autonomous weapons systems
The SPUR system is a back-mounted medium-range gun that can be fitted to various robot dog models
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The SPUR system is a back-mounted medium-range gun that can be fitted to various robot dog models
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You've seen Spot run. You've seen Spot jump. You've seen Spot do cute little booty-shaking dance routines. Now, see Spot fire lethal weapons. Sword Defense Systems has presented a precision rifle for robot dogs, capable of nailing targets 1.2 km (0.75 miles) away.

The Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle, or SPUR, fits on the back of your robot dog of choice – in this case, the Vision-60 quadruped from Ghost Robotics. It weighs 17 lb (7.7 kg), and packs a Teledyne FLIR Boson thermal camera with a 30X optical zoom, capable of picking out targets in daylight or at night.

It fires 6.5 mm Creedmoor rounds, or 7.62 x 51 mm NATO rounds at a pinch, with a 10-round magazine. The SPUR assembly has a ceramic coating designed to make it harder for night vision systems to see it.

The relatively light recoil of the Creedmoor rounds shouldn't pose too much of a balance issue for these robo-dogs, considering they've spent their early years getting pushed around with brooms and hockey sticks. Personally, I'll be throwing out all brooms and hockey sticks in the house. It wasn't me, guys!

There's currently no international law specifically prohibiting autonomous weapons systems
There's currently no international law specifically prohibiting autonomous weapons systems

There's no indication that this system will be autonomous at this point, although the technology most certainly exists and it would be unsurprising to see this kind of device enter military service as at least a semi-autonomous killing machine at some point.

Isaac Asimov's three laws of robotics remain in the world of fiction at this stage. According to the University of Queensland's School of Law, autonomous weapons systems are not currently prohibited by any international laws, provided they can distinguish combatants from civilians, take all foreseeable measures to prevent harm to civilians, and take precautions to verify they're attacking lawful targets, minimizing collateral damage and providing advance warnings to civilians where possible.

Ghost Robotics presented the SPUR as one of several "partner payloads" for the Vision-60 robot at the NDIA Future Force Capabilities conference in Columbus, Georgia. The company tagged the US Special Operations Command in the Twitter post below, but it's unclear whether the system has any buyers yet or whether it's merely being presented as a concept.

Sources: Ghost Robotics, Sword Defense Systems

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18 comments
18 comments
CAVUMark
Throw it a steak?
Pierre Collet
Could work if the steak lands on (and sticks to) the camera...
TorATB
"Black Mirror" is here...
Michael son of Lester
How long before this tech is turned loose on the public? Speak out, demonstrate, and you're a target. This tech is the wet dream of dictators and would-be dictators around the world.
WillNC
Agreed Michael and worse yet the literal wet dreams of the young male gamer-addicted techies. What fun let it go see what it does drones are so yesterday....
FB36
Autonomous Weaponry is IMMENSELY BENEFICIAL!!!

Autonomous Weaponry is bad because it does the SAME JOB as human soldiers, but only much better (much more accurately/cheaper & w/o needing any rest/break/sleep)???

Autonomous Weaponry is bad because it would save countless human soldiers from putting their lives in danger???

Also, could ever there be any guarantee that all countries & terrorists would always follow any global ban/law???
& if not, then, anybody not following the law, would get a massive advantage, or not???
ARF!
ROMPs are nothing new really, just more highly reformed; they do date back as a utility well past before even the QF-4's as they were included to be implemented during Operation Northwoods, so. (Remotely Operated Military Platforms)
Eggbones
If your enemy used these you'd obtain them too, as soldiers wouldn't have a chance. Battles would be reduced to opposing packs of roving dogs, taking war to a new level of stupid.
Rusty Harris
Prototype of a future "ED209".
HoppyHopkins
Can we say Terminator take two?
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