Some models of robotic quadrupeds include firearms with a range of up to 1,200 meters
In social networks, a short video of a robot dog (robot dog) with patrol skills has impressed me. Walking on its four legs, the “animal” advances under the control of the military of the California National Guard, United States.
This type of quadrupedal robot is one of the most outstanding developments in robotics in recent years. They are small, agile, and capable of traversing environments that frustrate wheeled machines .
Although the robot dog in the video that circulated on social networks only appears to show patrol skills, some of these models are capable of carrying weapons such as special rifles.
How do they work
According to The Verge, this type of robot dog belongs to the American firm Ghost Robotics with SPUR (Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle for its acronym in English), designed to be installed on a variety of robotic platforms. It has a built-in 30x optical zoom, a thermal camera for targeting in the dark, and an effective range of 1,200 meters.
The machine was first shown at the 2021 annual conference of the Association of the United States Army. It took place in Washington DC, from October 11 to 13 last year.
robot dog with head
In addition to the previous model, Boston Dynamics developed its own, whose body could be said to be the same, however, it is distinguished by having a “head”.
Currently, the Boston Dynamics robot is for sale in the United States to companies in the same country for a price of USD 74,500 and takes between six and eight weeks to arrive.
Boston Dynamics, is the best-known manufacturer of quadrupedal robots, creators of Spot, and they have a strict policy against weaponizing their machines, however, others include them.
Robot dogs with space missions
In December 2020, within the framework of the annual conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), researchers from NASA / JPL-Caltech unveiled a novel robot to explore and learn more about the hidden corners of Mars that involve the use of autonomous quadrupeds based on Spot.
The prototype of the ” Martian dog ” is called Au-Spot and it is already in the training phase. It is an agile system with which it seeks to explore surfaces that are difficult to access. The robots are light, compact, and fast-moving compared to the Perseverance (which is currently on the red planet): they have 2.6% volume, 4.6% more mass than that vehicle, and are 38 times faster, as explained in the presentation.
To illustrate the latter, the researchers explained at the time of the presentation that Au Spot is capable of walking speeds of 5 km/h during tests; by comparison, the Curiosity rover is moving along the Martian surface at about 0.14 km/h.
One of the reasons why it was thought to use this type of device is that due to its structure it has a greater capacity to move easily in difficult terrain, they have greater recovery and maneuver capacity than the Rovers currently used by NASA.
Those rovers are mostly confined to flat surfaces, but many scientifically interesting regions on Mars are only accessible after traversing very rough, downward-sloping terrain. Walking robot dogs are suitable for that type of surface, and if they fall down, they can be easily picked up.