Thursday, April 18, 2024

Meet Thermonator, the first-ever flamethrower-wielding robot dog

A New York-based company, Throwflame, is taking preorders for its Thermonator, the first-ever flamethrower-wielding robot dog. This quadruped is coupled with the ARC Flamethrower to deliver on-demand fire anywhere!

A Robot Dog is an incredibly versatile machine that can be used in a wide variety of settings and applications. As the four-legged robots become more intelligent, they have already exhibited an array of impressive skills, including obstacle avoidance, resilience against powerful impacts, herding capabilities, and even charming dance moves during their leisure time. However, one question has captivated the imagination of many: When will these remarkable machines start running around with flamethrowers?

The answer is now. Throwflame, renowned for its daring flamethrower designs, has added the Thermonator to its collection. The company has three versions of flamethrower currently on sale: the X-18, X-15, and TF-19 WASP. The fourth, the ARC flamethrower, is brand new. This highly customizable ARC flamethrower comes with a quad rail and can be installed on any platform, including robot dogs.

Thermonator combines a quadruped robotic dog with a modular, electric-powered ARC Flamethrower strapped to its back, which can shoot terrifying, 30-foot streams of fire for 30 seconds.

Although the exact model of the robotic half has yet to be formally identified, it resembles a Unitree GO1 built by Unitree Robotics. Equipped with artificial intelligence and an astonishing 12 degrees of freedom, the GO1 possesses the ability to walk, run, climb stairs, avoid obstacles, traverse challenging terrains, sit, and even lie down. It comes with exceptional navigation skills and can track or follow human beings.

Note that the Thermonator is not just a proof-of-concept or a wacky idea designed to spark imagination and interest but a real-life product that will hit the market later this year. It looks like a disaster waiting to happen if it were to fall into the wrong hands. Throwflame isn’t exactly marketing robots as weapons. Judging by the “Clout” page on the company’s website, various flamethrower tools have been used in movies and TV shows for special effects.

In addition to its undeniable coolness factor, the Thermonator offers practical applications as well. Flamethrowers are used for destroying weeds, burning crop stubble, controlling burns in forest management, and other tasks that can be arduous and hazardous. So, deploying a robot for these purposes has its upsides.

It’s unclear what the Thermonator’s sticker price will ultimately be, but for reference, the ARC flamethrower alone is $699, and the robot dog a lot more than that.