Ghost Robotics and SWORD International have teamed up to develop a rifle-toting robot dog. Called Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle (SPUR), the system adds a 6.5 mm Creedmoor rifle from SWORD to one of Ghost Robotics’ quadrupedal unmanned ground vehicles (Q-UGVs).
The SPUR was presented at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Annual Meeting as the “latest lethality innovation.” SWORD says that the system was “specifically designed to offer precision fire from unmanned platforms such as the Ghost Robotics Vision-60 quadruped.” It’s a nightmare come to life, a machine designed to kill with precision on the battlefield.
The contraption weighs 7.7 kgs (17 lbs), and it features safe, chamber, clear, and fire capabilities that allow for safe and reliable deployment of the weapon system – providing the operator an ability to load and save the weapon at a distance.
Chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor allows for precision fire out to 1200m, the SPUR can similarly utilize a 7.62×51 NATO cartridge for ammunition availability. Thanks to its highly capable sensors, the machine can operate in a magnitude of conditions, both day and night. There is not much information about the product for now. Also, it is not known what level of autonomy the robot has or if it was designed to be fully remotely operated.
The Ghost Robotics’ Q-UGVs have already been used before in limited military applications, such as to conduct a remote inspection, surveillance, or mapping missions, by the U.S. Air Force. Despite its resemblance to Boston Dynamics robots, the Q-UGV is designed for military use and in adverse conditions. Its charge is enough to cover 12 km (7.5 miles) in 3 hrs. on a single charge, moving at a speed of 2 meters per second.
Robot dogs are both adorable and fascinating to watch while they perform all sorts of tricks, but when someone decides to strap a lethal weapon to the machine, it might just go from cute to terrifying real fast.