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Let the robot dogs escape from war

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Let the robot dogs escape from war

“These dogs will be an extra set of eyes and ears as they compute large amounts of data at strategic locations throughout Tyndall Air Force Base,” said Maj. Jordan Criss, 325th Security Forces Squadron commander, saying of the systems during initial testing in late 2020. “They will be a great improvement for our defenders and will allow flexibility in the positioning and response of our personnel.”

In the intervening years, robot dogs have become a increasingly common accessory throughout the US military, beyond patrolling sensitive installations. In July 2023, Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota inserted Robot dogs to allow airmen to respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats “without risking their safety or the safety of others.” In August, Patrick Space Force Base in Florida aggregate robot dogs to their perimeter security rotation for “additional detection and alert capability.” That same month, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division, Announced employing robot dogs to “build 3-D ship models aboard the ‘inactive’ fleet of decommissioned ships at the Philadelphia Navy Yard,” while the Coast Guard sleepless Four-legged “droid” dogs in Hawaii to “combat weapons of mass destruction.” Finally, in November, airmen at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana debuted Robot dogs for the disposal of explosive devices.

Despite these practical applications outside of combat, some robotics companies have their eye on militarization. In October 2021, Ghost Robotics He showed A quadruped robot called a “Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle” or SPUR, with a 6.5mm Creedmoor assault rifle developed by SWORD International mounted on its back during an annual Army weapons exhibition in Washington, D.C., on the first public example of a Robot Dog armed with a firearm. The following year, a video of a robot dog equipped with a PP-19 Vityaz submachine gun made by Russian businessman Alexander Atamov. It quickly went viral on YouTube and Twitter.. In 2023, an American company had presented for the first time a robot dog with a flamethrower strapped to his backalthough not explicitly for military use (no longer used for US soldiers, uses flamethrowers against enemy combatants technically not prohibited). Like the Predator drone, you can’t build a new robot without someone hitting it with a gun.

Cry havoc

Public reception of armed robot dogs is overwhelmingly defined by concern mixed with discomfort, especially given the rise of autonomous or semi-autonomous weapons systems that can independently track and identify targets. Even beyond the conventional invocation of terminator-Inspired by techno-anxiety, robot dogs appear. disturbingly reminiscent of the menacing mechanized canines black mirror.

Part of the creep factor comes from the “uncanny valley,” Singer says, invoking the psychological phenomenon in which robots that look and act almost, but not quite, natural end up baffling their human observers. “From an engineering standpoint, these robots are inspired by nature, as real dogs, through evolution, are designed to operate very well in the field,” says Singer. “As a result, we superimpose our beliefs about these types of creatures onto ‘bio-inspired’ robots, and the more something seems real but not like it, the more we react with fear or disgust.”

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