What the heck ?! We’ve watched the alarming progress of robots, from comic human-shaped pieces of metal staggering around like a drunk to Terminator-style parkour cars. But at least until now no one has been stupid enough to arm a man with a rifle.
SWORD International, a semi-automatic rifle company, and Ghost Robotics have teamed up to create an assassin robot. The former added a special purpose unmanned rifle, or SPUR, to a four-legged unmanned ground vehicle, or Q-UGV, the latter. He is eerily similar to the metal creatures seen on the TV show War of the Worlds and the bloodthirsty robotic dogs from the Black Mirror episode Metalhead. And, of course, from Battlefield 2042.
Drive unit writes that the robot made its debut at the main annual convention of the U.S. Army Association in Washington, DC this week. The companies have never released detailed specifications, although we do know that the semi-autonomous robot is equipped with a 6.5mm semi-automatic rifle capable of aimed fire from about 4,000 feet. Ghost Robotics said it can remotely fire the first projectile from an unloaded state and has safety, firing, and clearing features.
Last lethality 6.5 #creedmoor sniper combat load of @SWORDINT… Check out the latest information for partners @AUSAorg Wash your DC. Keeping the United States and its allies #sof #warrior equipped with the latest technology. @USSOCOM #protection #protection #National security #dron #robotechnics pic.twitter.com/Dvk6OvL3Bu
– Ghost Robotics (@Ghost_Robotics) October 11, 2021
“SWORD Defense Systems SPUR is the future of unmanned weapons systems, and that future is now,” reads in frankly horrifying detail.
The Drive notes that SWORD offers derivatives from the 5.56x45mm AR-15 / M16 family, as well as similar but larger caliber guns. It looks like he’s using a muffler in this case as well.
Phantom Robotics’ Web site describes his Q-UGV as “unstoppable, with the ability to regain balance after any slip, fall or breakage and keep moving using our patented Blind Mode,” which sounds like the perfect rifle carry.
Given that semi-autonomous armed vehicles like military drones have been around for years, a robot dog with a gun is probably inevitable. Earlier this year, someone attached a paintball gun in place of Boston Dynamics, and we’ve seen people strap flamethrowers and pistols to their consumer drones.
Image Credit: Felix Wessner