U.S. Marines Test Robot Dog Armed With A Rocket Launcher

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Testing of nan 'Robotic Goat' astatine Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, ... [+] California, Sept. 9, 2023 and its expertise to get and prosecute targets pinch nan M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon. (U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Justin J. Marty)

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat C

Marines pinch nan Tactical Training and Exercise Control Group precocious conducted a proof-of-concept trial of a quadruped robot firing an M72 rocket launcher, according to a Marine Corps news release. Last twelvemonth a St Petersburg institution offered a rocket-armed robot dog to nan Russian military; this appears to beryllium based connected nan aforesaid robot utilized by nan Marines which is simply a type made successful China.

The demonstration, carried retired astatine a firing scope astatine Twentynine Palms successful California, was focused connected nan Kairos distant trigger mechanism alternatively than nan robot. This offers a safe, reliable intends to occurrence a limb from a distance. The robot canine (which nan Marines telephone a 'robotic goat') was simply a convenient level utilized to trial different tactical ways of utilizing nan trigger, and appears to person been purchased arsenic an off-the-shelf commercialized item.

This is nan latest of galore efforts to weaponize robot dogs. These person ranged from demonstrations for illustration nan polemical Spot’s Rampage – an creation installation pinch a paintball gun to item nan risks of equipped robots – and nan lighthearted I Did A Thing video connected YouTube of a home-made firearm robot to much superior efforts. These see a Ghost Robotics quadruped pinch a 6.5mm firearm pod from Sword Defense , reportedly capable to deed human-sized targets from respective 100 meters.

A number of videos originating from China also show equipped Unitree robots, for illustration nan 1 utilized by nan Marines. These look to beryllium mostly improvised projects, successful nan aforesaid tone arsenic nan galore hastily-assembled but highly effective drone bombers utilized successful Ukraine. The institution does not person a circumstantial subject exemplary (yet).

The robot successful nan I Did A Thing video is almost knocked complete by nan footwear of nan firearm it fires; pinch its minimal recoil, nan M72 rocket launcher is simply a simpler limb to integrate. You tin moreover mount 1 connected a drone.

Putting nan limb connected a distant level capable to maneuver adjacent to nan force and hold until needed makes it a mobile and reusable type of nan rocket-firing off-route mines seen successful Ukraine.

“Instead of having a Marine grip nan limb system, manipulate nan safeties, we could put a distant trigger system connected it that allowed it to each beryllium done remotely,” 1st Lt. Aaron Safadi, said successful nan release. “The Marine could beryllium down screen and concealment, nan limb strategy could spell forward, and nan Marine could manipulate nan safeties from a safe spot while allowing that limb strategy to get person to its target.”

The US subject is wary of utilizing Chinese hardware and location is simply a longstanding ban connected nan usage of drones from Chinese shaper DJI. Both sides person utilized immense numbers of DJI quadcopters successful nan conflict successful Ukraine for reconnaissance, artillery spotting and dropping bombs. However, imaginable information risks –DJI is answerable to nan Chinse authorities and mightiness supply accusation about, for example, drone locations – intends that nan U.S. nary longer usage them. The Blue UAS program provides U.S. authorities operators pinch alternatives to Chinese made-drones.

The Unitree Go1 robot was astir apt chosen because it is inexpensive and easy available. You can bargain 1 online for nether $3,000 positive shipping, making it much costly than astir drones but pinch a heavier payload. More blase quadrupeds are much expensive; Boston Dynamics Spot reportedly sells for astir $60k, making it overmuch little expendable. In addition, Boston Dynamics person strongly denounced immoderate attempts to usage their robots for subject purposes and will not support attempts to connect weapons to them. The U.S. subject is testing unarmed Ghost Robotics platforms for guidelines patrols.

A mobile level for distant controlled weapons makes a batch of consciousness to support troops retired of harm’s way. The US subject has been exploring this conception since nan 1980s, but while equipped drones are now common, equipped crushed robots person been little successful. This appears to beryllium partially owed to concerns astir rogue robots and nan imaginable for friends occurrence incidents, which undermined U.S. Army efforts to section an equipped robot called SWORDS successful Iraq.

The Marine Corps whitethorn not section equipped robots immoderate clip soon, and if they do nan hardware will beryllium American. But nan objection shows that nan exertion to put a robot successful nan beforehand statement not only exists now but tin easy beryllium implemented. Further, it can, for illustration drones successful Ukraine, tin beryllium acquired astatine prices debased capable for nan soldiers themselves aliases their supporters. It whitethorn not beryllium arsenic fancy and blase arsenic Russia’s Uran-9 robot tankette, but nan rocket-armed robot canine whitethorn beryllium a elemental and applicable measurement of fighting astatine agelong range.

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