What are US and Russian military robots like?

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The world’s first gun-wielding robot dog was unveiled in the United States last week. The futuristic creation of the engineers of the American high-tech companies Ghost Robotics and SWORD Defense Systems received the abbreviation SPUR – “special purpose unmanned gun”.

An American robot dog that can move both over rough terrain and indoors. Photo: af.mil

The presentation of this potentially lethal product, which is based on the platform Q-UGV (“four-legged unmanned ground vehicle”), took place during the annual convention-exhibition of the US Army Association. During the event held in Washington on October 11-13, some tactical and technical characteristics of a mechanical dog were revealed: on its back in a special protective casing, a ten-shot rifle of 6.5 mm caliber was installed, which is capable of delivering aimed fire at a distance of up to 1200 meters.

It is known that the robot is equipped with an advanced sighting system with a 30-fold magnification and a thermal imager, is covered with special ceramics for masking from enemy night vision devices, and is also capable of traveling a dozen kilometers at a speed of 7.2 km / h on a single charge.

Previously, dog-like robots manufactured by Ghost Robotics of the previous generation have already been delivered to the US Army and tested at the base of the 325th Security Forces Unit at Tyndall Base in Florida. True, the tasks of innovative technology were limited to controlling the protected perimeter, reconnaissance of the surrounding area and transferring target designation to the headquarters, The Drive reported. In the case of the all-weather and capable of operating at any time of the day SPUR, we are talking about the fact that American robops for the first time received the ability to physically hit the enemy in accordance with the commands received from the operator.

The Pentagon, through the Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has long invested in the development of such autonomous systems. Their first designs were developed back in the mid-2000s. True, following the results of numerous tests, the US military came to the conclusion about the limited suitability of robotic dogs for combat operations – until recently, their technology was crude, and the four-legged equipment was noisy and unreliable.

1.2 kilometers – at such a distance, a robotic dog with a rifle on its back is able to conduct aimed fire with 6.5 mm caliber cartridges

In the future, the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex focused on the development of unmanned robotic wheeled transport platforms and exoskeletons. With the SPUR show, such equipment will once again compete for its niche in the arms markets.

How about us?

The presentation of the robotic dog with a special rifle mounted on its back caused a smile from the Russian military and robotics experts, to put it mildly. The first and, probably, the last question: why design a security robot in the form of a watchdog? This does nothing, except for a significant complication and an increase in the cost of a product that is quite simple in terms of functionality.

The Russian robot complex “Marker” guards the Vostochny cosmodrome. Photo: RIA Novosti

It just so happened that simultaneously with the noisy presentation of the American robotic dog, a modest announcement was made that the Marker robotic platform was taking over the protection of the Vostochny cosmodrome. It was developed by Android Technology in collaboration with the Advanced Research Foundation. And in all respects, the Russian “Marker” surpassed the American miracle of technology.

If a robot dog made in the USA can only carry a sniper rifle and optical devices “on its back”, then the “Marker” made in Russia can be armed with a wide variety of combat systems, including guided missiles, and a large number of various optoelectronic and radio equipment. observation systems. In addition, it is equipped with a small-sized drone capable of taking off from a platform and chasing an intruder of a protected perimeter in places inaccessible to wheeled-tracked and, even more so, robo-dog vehicles.

At Vostochny, several areas of application of the robot are being worked out, including: autonomous patrolling of the territory of the cosmodrome along a predetermined route, detection of perimeter violators, their identification and interception, as well as the fight against drones.

It is noted that “Marker” can work both in standalone mode and under the control of an operator. To date, five platforms have been developed – two on a wheeled chassis and three on a tracked chassis. According to the developers, the Marker platform can be used to create equipment for exploring the Moon and other planets of the solar system. Naturally, without weapons.

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