It’s probably just a matter of time before combat robots are thrown into a fight on the ground. Sure, these things may not think for themselves just yet, but the prospect of having metal beasts engaging humans sure is scary.
This particular machine is made by a company called Ghost Robotics. Its primary purpose is to enhance “security by increasing security forces’ ability to patrol and monitor the installation,” as it is seen here doing during an August 2021 exercise at the Hill Air Force Base in Utah, in the hands of the 75th Security Forces Squadron.
Ghost’s primary product in this segment is the Vision range (comprising four different models), a family of machines designed as “an extra set of eyes and ears” for people tasked with defending American installations.
The available data says the robot dog, eerly similar to the Boston Dynamics Spot, can move at speeds of up to 1.6 m/s (5.2 ft./sec), and its battery pack should last it for about 10 hours. It can move across any terrain, and can even climb stairs, while being described at the same time as unstoppable, given its ability to self-right “from any immobilization.”
As far as we know, these machines do not carry any weapons yet, but they do come equipped with an array of sensors, cameras (including thermal), and communications hardware.
Ghost Robotics says this legged solution can be used not only for defense purposes, but also for “industrial, mining, energy, construction, logistics and public safety markets.” So, as we move forward, just like in the case of Spot, expect to see an increased use of this thing in the world around us.