Robot dog equipped with a sniper rifle unveiled

Science & Technology

October 23, 2021 |  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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