Sat. Nov 25th, 2023
    U.S. Marines Test Rocket-Launching Robot Dog


    U.S. Marines demonstrated a rocket-launching robot dog as part of a proof-of-concept demonstration at the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command’s Tactical Exercise Control group in California. The robot dog used in the demonstration was the inexpensive Chinese-made Unitree Go1. Despite not being a military-grade platform, the robot dog handled the recoil of the rocket launcher well. This comes after previous demonstrations of robot dogs equipped with submachine guns, both in the U.S. and other countries, which sparked concerns about the weaponization of such devices. While companies like Boston Dynamics pledged not to weaponize their robots, other companies are willing to fill the demand for automated weapons platforms.

    The demonstration at Twentynine Palms showcased the potential of robot dogs for military purposes. The video of the demonstration featured Marines attaching an M72 anti-armor rocket launcher to the back of the robot dog, which was fixed between sandbags and supported by a steel bar. The robot dog successfully fired the rocket launcher, prompting comments from the Marines about its eerie appearance and the psychological aspect of its use.

    This development is not surprising considering the increasing use of robots in different fields, including the military. Companies like Boston Dynamics and Ghost Robotics have been at the forefront of developing robot dogs for various applications. However, concerns have arisen as some of these devices have been seen armed with weapons. Despite some companies pledging not to weaponize their robots, others are capitalizing on the demand for automated weapons platforms. China’s People’s Liberation Army and Russia have already showcased armed robot dogs in their military exhibitions and patrols.

    It is clear that armed robot dogs are no longer just a concept; they are already in use. While the implications of using these devices in combat remain uncertain, their potential for specific military tasks cannot be ignored.

    – The Warzone
    – Office of Naval Research (ONR)